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Definition of PARNASSIAN
[Latin parnassius of Parnassus, from Greek parnasios, from Parnasos Parnassus, mountain in Greece sacred to Apollo and the Muses]: of or relating to poetry
[French parnassien, from Parnasse Parnassus; from Le Parnasse contemporain (1866), an anthology of poetry]: of or relating to a school of French poets of the second half of the 19th century emphasizing metrical form rather than emotion
Members of a French school of poetry of the second half of the 19th century that was headed by Charles-Marie-Rene Leconte de Lisle (1818–94) and Théophile Gautier. The Parnassians stressed restraint, objectivity, technical perfection, and precise description as a reaction against the emotionalism and verbal excess of Romanticism. Their name came from the anthology to which they contributed, Le Parnasse contemporain (1866, 1871, 1876). Their influence was evident in movements such as Modernismo and led to experimentation in metres and verse forms and the revival of the sonnet.