7 junio, 2024

The 20 Most Influential Literary Currents in History

The literary trends They are movements in the specific field of literature that share characteristics, whether in form (style), substance (themes) and that coexist in a certain period of history.

These literary currents arise as a response to the political, economic and social reality of the time in which they take place and, for the most part, coincide with similar styles and currents in other branches of art, communing with the prevailing ideologies and philosophical thoughts of that period. .

Many of these movements, especially those that have appeared in recent centuries, have overlapped in the space-time line, coexisting with greater or lesser relevance.

The names given and the duration of their influence have been determined a posteriori by scholars of the subject, or they have been self-appointed by their original promoters.

Main literary currents of History

– Classicism

The period from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD is known as literary classicism, the root of all universal literature. It is characterized mainly by seeking a balance between substance and form. Within the Classic Period, Greek and Latin literature stand out.

greek literature

It is believed that literature was born in Ancient Greece approximately 1000 years BC.C., but the best known pieces date from the 5th century BC onwards, culminating approximately in the 5th century AD.

It was based on telling real events that the storytellers once lived, as well as stories about the gods. Homer stands out in this period with the epic stories of «The Iliad» and «The Odyssey», Sophocles with the drama of «Electra», Virgil with «The Aeneid» and Gilgamesh in poetry.

The Aeneid – virgil

It is a work of classicism. It was written on behalf of Augustus to glorify the Roman Empire and talk about its origin in the offspring of Aeneas, who was a survivor of the Trojan War.

The work has very particular characteristics, style and perfect verse, and was considered a model to follow by later writers.

Roman or Latin Literature

Roman literature began in the 3rd century BC. C. and ended in the fourth century AD. The Romans absorbed all the literary knowledge of the Greeks and spread it throughout the vast Roman Empire.

The rhetoric of Cicero stood out, which became a model of oratory throughout Europe; Lucretius in the lyrical genre and Plautus in the drama.

Notable works of Roman literature:

translations of the odyssey – Livio Andronicus
Tragedies inspired by Euripides – Ennio
Laelius or De amicitia – Cecilio Statius

– Medieval

From the second half of the 5th century to the end of the 14th century, the world was characterized by a long and slow period plagued by internal wars, disputes to conquer territories and the famous Christian crusades.

The arts in general, and literature in particular, suffered and suffered their share of obscurantism; the works were circumscribed to the religious theme and to the profane (such as courtly love), in opposition.

An outstanding work of medieval literature is:

the canterbury tales –Geoffrey Chaucer

It is a collection of stories told by pilgrims. Chaucer, in his stories, clearly represented the panorama of the society of his time, creating a vision of medieval literature with much criticism and humor.

In them he collects such human themes as lust, forgiveness, love and revenge, which makes them permanently current.

– Humanism

It was not until the end of the 14th century that an intellectual movement began to emerge that broke with scholasticism and promoted the study of classical literature and science, seeking to give life a more rational meaning.

Authors such as Juan Ruiz stood out with «El Libro del Buen Amor» and great anonymous pieces such as «El Mío Cid» and «El Cantar de los Nibelungos».

Good Love Book –Juan Ruiz

It is the most important work of the fourteenth century representative of Humanism. It is essentially a record of the arts of love, which aims to avoid crazy love based on passions and instead encourage good love that respects morality.

Through irony, Juan Ruíz compensates for subtlety and shamelessness in a text full of humor and teachings.

– Renaissance

Renaissance literature originated in the city of Florence in Italy, and developed between the fifteenth century and until the end of the seventeenth century approximately.

Faced with the lethargy of almost ten centuries, this was a true explosion that was characterized by the rise of the arts and the importance of man as a central theme.

Dante Alighieri stood out with «The Divine Comedy», Garcilaso de la Vega with his «Églogas» and Bocaccio with «El Decameron».

The Decameron – Giovanni Boccaccio

Due to its theme, it is considered the first Renaissance work. It relates human aspects that reflect the society of the time.

There are one hundred stories narrated by ten young people from the Florentine upper class. Although The Decameron It has something of a religious theme, mainly showing the man as a victim of his own acts.

– Baroque style

In the 17th century, the world was in an economic and social crisis, whose negative and pessimistic vision was reflected in the arts.

The literature of this period stood out throughout Europe but mainly in Spain, which wrote about religion and the pursuit of dreams.

Baltasar Graciano, Luis de Góngora and Francisco de Rojas stood out at this time, as well as Francisco de Quevedo, author of “Poderoso Caballero es Don Dinero” and Lope de Vega with his famous “Fuenteovejuna”.

Sheep Fountain – Lope de Vega

It is a baroque play that narrates the revelation of the Cordoba people of Fuente Ovejuna against the injustice they suffer due to the abuse of power of Commander Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, who behaves like a tyrant who does not respect the laws.

You may be interested in 15 Short Baroque Poems by Great Authors.

– Mannerism

Baroque and mannerism shared the historical path, using similar resources and literary elements. It antagonizes the sensual and spiritualist style of an age characterized by skepticism and preoccupied with pleasure and beauty.

Authors of the stature of William Shakespeare, author of «Hamlet», or Miguel de Cervantes with his immortal «Don Quixote de La Mancha» could be located within Mannerism.

Hamlet-William Shakespeare

In Hamlets the typical mannerist resource of using overloaded and unnatural metaphors is reflected. He narrates “The drama of power and inheritance”.

Throughout the text, the details of a work that has its own style, with numerous dramatic effects, are clearly noticeable. In Hamlets many problems of political and moral roots are considered, within a tragedy.

– Neoclassicism

Literary neoclassicism begins in the 18th century and represents a return to rescue the classical Greek and Roman values ​​and thus find balance and serenity.

It is the so-called “Century of Enlightenment”, in which Voltaire with “Oedipus”, Juan Meléndez Valdez with “Las Enamoradas Anacreónticas” and Leandro Fernández de Moratín with “El Sí de las Niñas”, were important exponents.

Oedipus – Voltaire

Oedipus is a play composed by the French philosopher and writer Voltaire. In it the Greek myth of Oedipus is recounted, without any significant element being added to it. With this he seeks to evoke Greek literary simplicity.

You may be interested in 5 Neoclassicism Poems by Great Authors.

– Romanticism

It originated in Germany at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, and was characterized by the abandonment of the frivolous and purist thoughts of the previous period, to give way to feelings, imagination and creativity as the axis of literature.

It developed profusely in Germany, France and England, highlighting Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe as a poet, playwright and novelist, as well as José de Espronceda with «Canción del Pirata», Jorge Isaacs with «María» and José Zorrilla with the famous «Don Juan Tenorio ”.

You may be interested The 23 Main Authors of Romanticism and their Works.

– Realism

It began in France in the second half of the 19th century and spread throughout the European continent. Its main characteristic was the stripping of the sentimentality of the current that preceded it.

This was achieved by making a literature based on the observation and objective description of social reality and daily life. It was the response to the social situation of the time, characterized by the consolidation of the bourgeoisie and industrialization.

Stendhal with works such as “Red and Black”, Honore de Balzac, Alejandro Dumas –“The Lady of the Camellias”-, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Gustave Flaubert –“Madame Bovary”-, Benito Pérez Galdós and Fedor Dostoyevsky, with his most emblematic work «Crime and Punishment», were its main exponents.

Red and black – Stendhal

This novel is inspired by a true event. In it, a young seminarian named Franc-Comté enters Monsieru Rênal’s house as a tutor, a place where he learns about love and other angles of life, including crime.

You may be interested in 7 Very Representative Realism Poems.

– Impressionism

It was born in France in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to realism. It intended to generate literary pieces stripped of intellectuality and reflection, giving greater importance to the author’s first “impression” on the object or topic to be written. The Goncourt brothers were its forerunners.

Story of Marie Antoinette – Edmong and Jules de Goncourt

This novel talks about who was the Archduchess of Austria and Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. It seeks to accurately approximate the history of the last monarch to inhabit the Palace of Versailles, before the French Revolution broke out.

You may be interested The 7 Most Remarkable Characteristics of Impressionism .

– Naturalism

Towards the end of the 19th century, realism gave way to naturalism, where realism redoubled its bet, by highlighting the ugly, the unpleasant and the most negative and bleak side of reality.

Naturalism tried to explain human behavior by observing and describing the social environment.

Émile Zola is considered the father of naturalism, but Blasco Ibáñez and Emilia Pardo Bazán also stood out.

Therese Raquin – Emile Zola

One of the most influential works of naturalism is Therese Raquina literary novel written by Émile Zola, which tells how Thérèse’s monotonous life takes a turn when she begins a passionate romance with Laurent, her husband’s closest friend, Camille.

– Modernism

Literary modernism emerged at the end of the 19th century and had its decline at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the only literary current that originated in America and then spread throughout Europe and not the other way around, as it used to happen.

It was characterized by its manifest repulsion towards everything everyday and by the search for beauty and perfection of forms.

Modernism disdained everything previously established by realism….

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