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(Spanish, conceptismo), a style that arose in Spanish literature in the 17th century. Its founder is considered to be the poet A. de Ledesma Buitrago (1562–1623), the author of the collection of poems Spiritual Thoughts (1600).
The theoretical principles of conceptism were set forth in the treatise by B. Gracián y Morales (1601–58) entitled Wit and the Art of the Refined Mind (1642), proclaiming wit to be the source of aesthetic pleasure. Among important writers who used this style were F. De Quevedo y Villegas and L. Véléz de Guevara. Emphasizing formal elements, often at the expense of content, the exponents of conceptism created artificially complex ideas, employing puns, subtle associations, unusual comparisons, and an aphoristic style. Like Gongorism, conceptism attested to the crisis of Spanish Renaissance art and to the development of baroque literature.
REFERENCEMemendes, Pidal’ R. “Temnyi i trudnyi stil’ kul’teranistov i konseptistov.” In Izbr. proizv.: Ispanskaia literatura srednikh vekov i epokhi Vozrozhdeniia. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Spanish.)
Z. I. PLAVSKIN