Romancing Decay: Ideas of Decadence in European Culture
This collection of fifteen essays looks at the theme of decadence and its recurring manifestations in European literature and literary criticism from medieval times to the present day. Various definitions of the term are explored, including the notion of decadence as physical decay. Some of the essays draw parallels between modernist and postmodernist notions of decadence. Similarities are detected between fin de siècle decadence at the end of the nineteenth century (which reaches its apotheosis in the character of Eugene Wrayburn in Our Mutual Friend) and depictions of decadence in our own age as we enter the new millennium.
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abjection aesthetic Alice Perrers Antonio Tabucchi apocalyptic argues artist Aschenbach Augustine Balkan Baudelaire Baudrillard beauty becomes Benjamin British Buckingham Bunyan Charles Chaucer’s Clarendon Colantonio contemporary culture D’Annunzio David Death in Venice Decadent Movement decay Derrida desire Dickens discourse Dorian England English essay Eugene example F.R. Leavis Falkner fiction Gabriele D’Annunzio Gide Harthouse human Ibid idea Immoralist intellectual Jean Baudrillard Jerome’s John John Bunyan Kipling’s Kristeva language late libertinism liberty lion literature living London Lost Stradivarius Malchus Maltravers Michel mind modern modernist moral narrative narrator nation nature Niccolò Colantonio nineteenthcentury Nisard Nonconformists novel original Oxford Parliament Parliament of Fowls passion People’s poem poet poetry political postmodern protagonists reading Renaissance Restoration Richards Rochester Rochester’s Second World sense sexual social society St Jerome Steerforth story suggests Swift Tabucchi theory thought Tis Pity tradition trans translation twentieth century University Press Uriah vols words writing