ABSTRACT

Although there were different Symbolist reactions to the fin de siècle crisis, this did not imply that they were mutually exclusive or antagonistic. As well as the specific German answer to the crisis of faith, one of the Symbolist attitudes to spiritual turmoil was to point out the state of dereliction of the world, often in a cynical way, which was therefore commonly called ‘Decadent’. However, another Symbolist reaction, truly idealistic, was the conception and creation of a new world order to replace the structure of values and beliefs that had disappeared. Where German Symbolism had tried to move forward by claiming that the new era was that of mankind, this other trend of Symbolism tried to re-establish a world order, consciously or unconsciously based on the Judeo-Christian one.