Themes

What is Bohemian/meaning/concept/elaboration

Bohemian is a term that has two totally opposite meanings. First is the Gentile from Bohemia, a person from a region belonging to the Czech Republic. This term is also used to refer to a handmade crystal made in this region, also known as a bohemia crystal.

On the other hand, bohemian is a concept related to culture and it is worth knowing its origin and meaning.

A lifestyle

The first reference of this term in its cultural sense is related to the Gypsy people. The French called the gypsies who arrived from this region of the present-day Czech Republic bohemians (bohémien). In French, the word bohemian had a pejorative sense, as it alluded to the unconventional lifestyle of this ethnic group.

The French romantic writer Henri Murger shared experiences with a group of marginal artists from the city of Paris and thus wrote a book about them: “The water drinkers”. To describe the characters and environment of this work, he used the word bohemian to refer to the various displacements of the gypsy people. From then on, the term bohemian came to be used as a synonym for the lifestyle of some individuals.

The bohemian is a particular guy

It is historically associated with the city of Paris because there are people with that same profile in this place. The bohemian is usually an under-recognized and unappreciated artist. He is not interested in fame or money, he has a rebellious and transgressive spirit. He is a cultured person, but he does not attend traditional academic environments. He likes the night, sordid and unsophisticated places.

The portrait of the bohemian man spread throughout Europe and the whole world

It has a sloppy appearance, with a melancholy air and an inelegant aesthetic according to the criteria of fashion. The bohemian figure is associated with failure and an almost marginal lifestyle. The bohemian claims freedom as a value and moves away from established social rules. 

He is a dreamer, someone unpragmatic, a kind of philosopher or street poet. It can be considered a loser, although predictably assumes its defeat. The bohemian takes refuge in alcohol and is prone to self-destruction. At times, he is considered crazy or adventurous by others.

The theater , the literature and art in general have described bohemian characters. Your image and personality are part of the collective unconscious.

Several characters can be highlighted that fit within the portrait of a bohemian man. Among them, there is one that brings together almost all the characteristics mentioned, the poet Charles Bukowski.

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