Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Hermetism: Hermetic philosophy



a movement in Italian poetry of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The name itself emphasizes its exclusiveness, alienation from real life, and withdrawal to the world of subjective emotions. The poetry of hermetism, permeated by the feeling of the loneliness of man, was combined with a negative attitude toward the fascist ideology. Hermetism preserved humanistic interest in man’s inner world.

The principle of modernist hermetic poetry is disengagement from “nonpoetical” reality—hence, the complexity of images arising from a chain of subjective associations. The hermetists sought to make words a supreme means of expressing feelings rather than thoughts: through rhythm and harmony words must express the hidden world of emotions and mental states. The meaning of words as used by the hermetists is also subjective and subordinated to individual associations and often is entirely devoid of the generally accepted meaning.

The outstanding hermetist poets are E. Montale and G. Ungaretti. Montale’s work in the 1930’s was most eloquent in expressing despair and a tragic perception of the world.

The humanistic tendencies underlying hermetism and its hostility to fascism made it possible for prominent adherents of the hermetist style, under the influence of the resistance movement during World War II (1939-45) and the defeat of the fascist forces, to break out of the straitjacket of subjectivism. The poets S. Quasimodo and S. Solmi, who started out as hermetists, began to represent the emotional life of man in a close relationship with his struggle for a better future in the modern world.


Flora, F. La poesia ermetica. Bari, 1936.
Flora, F. Storia della letteratura italiana [9th ed.], vol. 5. [Milan, 1957.]
Petrucciani, M. La poetica dell’ermetismo italiano. Turin [1955].
Ramat, S. L’ermetismo. Florence, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
in Hermetism and Gnosticism, from which Christianity had to distance itself in due course as well.
The first, written by Wouter Hanegraaff, "Ludovico Lazzarelli and the Hermetic Christ: At the Sources of Renaissance Hermetism," is a comprehensive study of Lazzarelli's life and thought, of his relationship with his mentor Giovanni "Mercurio" da Correggio, and of Renaissance hermetism (1-104).
Nilssoni maaratluse jargi on hermetism koguni uks gnoosise ham (Nilsson, M.
Gillespie's most sustained discussions of Mann focus on the theme of "Educational Experiment" and on the intersection of "syncretic Hermetism and literary humorism" in Mann's psychologically pregnant texts (199).
Although these free-verse texts distinguish themselves by metaphors of unique beauty and poetic persuasion, they often show tendencies toward a certain hermetism.
18) Brian Copenhaver has outlined more specifically the myriad ways in which occult phenomena were discussed and disseminated in the seventeenth century; see his "Natural Magic, Hermetism, and Occultism in Early Modern Science," in David C.
Happily, the Internet makes available esoteric traditions that were once virtually inaccesible--from Gnosticism and Hermetism to Tantra, magic(k), and Freemasonry.
132) On the contrary, Hermetism offers more significant similarities, and a careful scrutiny reveals strong analogies of thought and language between Constantine's theology and the tradition found in both the Corpus Hermeticum and the five Egyptian theological oracles of the Theosophia.
Although Bradley's concept of "the finite centre," which suggests that each person's experience falls within his/her circle, "a circle closed on the outside and opaque to the others which surround it" (346), might smack of an extremely insular form of hermetism, the fact that all our circles, ultimately, constitute part of an absolute, hints otherwise.
While both Walker and Yates understood Lazzarelli's hermetism to be deeply religious (if dangerous), their works contributed to an image of Lazzarelli as practicing hermetic magic.
of Leeds), an intricate visual world of alchemical symbols appeared in the printed literature, inspired by the theosophy of Paracelsus and by pagan Hermetism and the Christian kabbalah.
The son of a Japanese father and a mother with indigenous roots, Watanabe's poetry achieves a compelling synthesis of Oriental (Japanese haikus, moral values, and visual arts) and Western culture (the European classics, symbolism, Italian hermetism, Eguren, Vallejo, and Eielson).