Life is at the service of an art which gives an absolute value. Between art and life is established a kind of osmosis. Make your own life a work of art, live in exasperated worship of beauty, it becomes a creed for many of the new poets and writers. This is the genesis of that complex attitude that takes the name of aestheticism and which characters in novels such as Huysmans and Wilde. Aestheticism interweave various reasons: dedication to beauty and art is an ideal of refinement of characters who reject the reality of the new bourgeois society, closing in separate worlds. Compared to Naturalism is controversy not only on the side properly knowledge, but also on the practical: it dominates now distrust in the possibility of positive change in the real. The poet are mostly denied tasks and social functions. Poetry can not directly help to change reality. In this detachment is also quite sensitive than the overall movement of Romanticism, essentially, the decaying matter much more than their individual destiny and the fate of individual human face of the great existential problems.
The rejection of the reality of mass civilization and the will to power, domination of crowds still despised, are motivated by a similar deep disquiet. The hero is often a decadent character turned in on itself, divorced from social reality, listening attentively to one's own self restless and tormented, disappointed by the world against the dominant bourgeois society and its values or even unable to live normally. Very often, this negative view of the end of the present reality, this rejection of the bourgeois world which was configured in the previous decades, means deep awareness of the historical and cultural crisis of a civilization, of a human and social model; and yet it is a worldview regressively oriented crisis aristocratic world.
The sense of the decline of a civilization is associated with eccentric taste, the precious and refined, its an age saturated with culture and traditions of many, and on the cultural level leads to a smugly recovery and longing for ages Refined and decadent.