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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


Memendes, 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.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gongorism can also be considered as a purely stylistic variant of the contemporaneous literary trend known as conceptism, which appeared mainly in prose.
The outstanding exponent of conceptism, Gracian has been variously regarded as a moral philosopher of considerable depth and as an unoriginal intellectual poseur.