The 10 literary styles: from Classicism to Postmodernism, from Homer to García Márquez

1- Classicism

The Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire developed harmony and balance in the form and literary style, connecting with the reader by exposing situations, characters and environments related to it, their objective was to entertain, through theater, myths and epics,. Its exponents were Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.

2- Medieval

The fall of the Roman Empire unleashes creativity, emerging new authors in the town, for this reason many works came to our century without signature, anonymous, in the form of epic songs, fables or songbooks. But we must highlight excellent authors such as Juan Ruíz, Alfonso X el Sabio or Jorge Manrique and key works such as El Poema del Mío Cid, El Libro del Buen Amor or La Celestina.

3- Renaissance

Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe and thanks to the invention of the printing press in 1450, a new literary form arose whose main objective was to recover humanism and put literature at the service of Christianity, through treatises, novels and poetry. The authors were such as Dante, Petrarch or Boccaccio, Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray Luis de León or Garcilaso de la Vega.

4- Baroque

As a consequence of the moral crisis that occurred in the 17th century, the Baroque emerged, with an aesthetic overloaded on stylistic resources, which came to light in the form of chivalric, pastoral, picaresque or theatrical novels, with exquisite pens such as Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca, Quevedo or Luis de Góngora.

5- Neoclassicism

The literature of the 18th century takes up the Greek and Roman classics, seeking balance, serenity and training, including moralizing approaches, but always focused on reason, purifying the language, with clarity and simplicity of style, with novels, lyrics, fables and theater. where great authors such as Goethe, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe or José Cadalso emerge.

6- Romanticism

At the beginning of the 19th century, emotion and feelings invade literature, imagination and fantasy merge with the desire for evasion and intimacy, for this reason the preferred forms are drama, poetry, autobiography and newspaper articles, with authors such as Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, José de Zorrilla, Mary Shelley and José de Espronceda.

7- Realism

In the second half of the 19th century, industrialization, the consolidation of the bourgeoisie and the appearance of the proletariat are key in the literary plot, literature is pragmatic and objective, leaving feelings and fantasy aside, immersing itself in human existence, accentuating the problematic and social problems, its representatives were authors such as Gustav Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós or Balzac.

8- Modernism

The 20th century shows us non-conformist literature, especially in Spanish, whose themes are evasion, rejection of society or love and idealization, represented by Rubén Darío, who defined his limits in poetry and poetic prose.

9- Avant-garde

Another maverick group of the 20th century seeks new experimental forms of literature, where freedom of expression acquires a new meaning, because the works alter the structure and addressing taboo topics and investigate new literary parameters, this makes it impossible to unify styles, with authors as eclectic as Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Ernest Hemingway or Julio Cortázar.

10- Postmodernism

At the end of the Second World War, the experimental process in style, form and narrative structure deepened, the writers sought a reconceptualization of society and the fragmentation of styles and themes became evident, emerging several subgenres such as magical realism, the theater of absurd, feminist literature, etc. We can remember Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett or Simone de Beauvoir.


  • Cesar Leo Marcus was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Doctor (PhD) in International Logistics and Foreign Trade, and Master (MBA) in Economic Sociology, he was professor of both chairs at the Universities of Madrid (Spain) and Cordoba (Argentina). A journalist, he publishes in newspapers in California, Miami, and New York. He is a writer, he published twelve books, and a literary editor, director of Windmills Editions. He currently resides in California.

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