The Impact of Symbolism on Some British and American Modernist Writers


  • Dalila Karakaçi PhD. Candidate, University “Aleksander Moisiu”, Durres, Albania


This paper will be focused on the impact of symbolism on some British and American modernist writers. Through an analysis of the main characteristics of symbolism and modernism, I will arrive to point the level of impact of one literary movement over the other. Symbolism initiated as a drive to portray a different actuality from that of naturalism and realism, producing an impact on modernist literature by moving the focus of narration on word arrangement and images. Being the first symbolist novel, Huysmans’s A Rebour shows artistry in the usage of language. On the other hand, Dujardin’s Les Lauriers sont coupes technique disregarding the cause- effect plot and converging on the gathering of images and symbolic means would be used intensively by Henry James and after WWI writers. The technique of intersecting time, space and disorder of information transmitted through the senses is widely exploited by Mallarme, Rimbaud, Valery and Baudelaire. The impact of Proust on Joyce is touchable not only in the importance given to the connection amid art and life, through the biome of personages and time used in the novel, but also in the significance prearranged by the language to transmit the form of the novel. The personages of Faulkner and Wolf are identified through images, symbols and language used since they subsist only in relation to these symbols and words communication, resulting to be significant forms of modernist technique. What integrates these two literary movements goes further to the usage of joint techniques of expression and is focused on the same ambition of making art, leaving apart affects, taking into consideration its intricacies and impossibilities.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n1p565


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How to Cite

The Impact of Symbolism on Some British and American Modernist Writers. (2014). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(1), 565.