Fin de siècleFin de Siecle
for "End of the Century." Although literally it could refer to the end of any century, it almost invaribly refers to the 19th Century
. The term usually refers to the period preceding World War I
, which brought about such radical cultural changes and rearrangement of the social order. Colloquially, the term usually suggests a decadent and naive golden age in contrast to the horror that followed.
A good introductory text on this period is Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower.
See Stephane Mallarme; Symbolism; Aesthetic movement