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Decadence and Literature

£89.99

Part of Cambridge Critical Concepts

  • Editors:
  • Jane Desmarais, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • David Weir, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Jane Desmarais, David Weir, Jerry Toner, Shushma Malik, Isobel Hurst, Chad Denton, Michael Shaw, Sacha Golob, Laura Moure Cecchini, Emma Sutton, Kate Krueger, Nicholas D. More, Melanie Hawthorne, Matthew Bradley, Jordan Kistler, Jeffrey Sachs, Theresa Zeitz-Lindamood, Katharina Herold, Stefano Evangelista, Gerald Gillespie, Chris Baldick, Deborah Longworth, Alice Condé
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  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108426244

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About the Authors
  • Decadence and Literature explains how the concept of decadence developed since Roman times into a major cultural trope with broad explanatory power. No longer just a term of opprobrium for mannered art or immoral behaviour, decadence today describes complex cultural and social responses to modernity in all its forms. From the Roman emperor's indulgence in luxurious excess as both personal vice and political control, to the Enlightenment libertine's rational pursuit of hedonism, to the nineteenth-century dandy's simultaneous delight and distaste with modern urban life, decadence has emerged as a way of taking cultural stock of major social changes. These changes include the role of women in forms of artistic expression and social participation formerly reserved for men, as well as the increasing acceptance of LGBTQ+ relationships, a development with a direct relationship to decadence. Today, decadence seems more important than ever to an informed understanding of contemporary anxieties and uncertainties.

    • Shows the relationship of decadence to non-literary culture
    • Clarifies the range of meanings of decadence in multiple contexts
    • Emphasises the conceptual (and, in some cases, foundational) relevance of decadence to different forms of discourse and intellectual areas
    • Provides a broad historical overview of decadence
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108426244
    • length: 430 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Jane Desmarais and David Weir
    Part I. Origins:
    1. Decadence in Ancient Rome Jerry Toner
    2. Decadence and Roman historiography Shushma Malik
    3. Nineteenth-century literary and artistic responses to Roman decadence Isobel Hurst
    4. Decadence and the enlightenment Chad Denton
    5. Decadence and the urban sensibility Michael Shaw
    6. Decadence and the critique of modernity Jane Desmarais
    7. Decadence and aesthetics Sacha Golob
    Part II. Developments:
    8. Decadence and the visual arts Laura Moure Cecchini
    9. Decadence and music Emma Sutton
    10. Decadence, parody, and new women's writing Kate Krueger
    11. The philosophy of decadence Nicholas D. More
    12. The sexual psychology of decadence Melanie Hawthorne
    13. The theology of decadence Matthew Bradley
    14. The science of decadence Jordan Kistler
    15. The sociology of decadence Jeffrey Sachs
    Part III. Applications:
    16. Decadence and urban geography Theresa Zeitz-Lindamood
    17. Socio-aesthetic histories: Vienna 1900 and Weimar Berlin Katharina Herold
    18. Decadence and cinema David Weir
    19. Transnational decadence Stefano Evangelista
    20. Decadence and modernism Gerald Gillespie
    21. Modern prophetic poetry and the decadence of empires: from Kipling to Auden Chris Baldick
    22. The gender of decadence: Paris-Lesbos from the fin de siècle to the interwar era Deborah Longworth
    23. Decadence and popular culture Alice Condé.

  • Editors

    Jane Desmarais, Goldsmiths, University of London
    Jane Desmarais is Professor of English and Director of the Decadence Research Unit in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has written numerous essays on the theme of decadence and has co-edited several works, including Decadence: An Annotated Anthology (with Chris Baldick, 2012), Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems (with Chris Baldick, 2017), and Decadence and the Senses (with Alice Condé, 2017). Her monograph, Monsters under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers, 1850 to the Present was published in 2018.

    David Weir, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
    David Weir is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, where he taught literature, linguistics, and cinema. He has published books on Jean Vigo, James Joyce, William Blake, orientalism, and anarchism, as well as three books on decadence. Those books have had a major role in the development of decadence as an academic field of study, beginning with Decadence and the Making of Modernism (1995), Decadent Culture in the United States (2007), and, most recently, Decadence: A Very Short Introduction (2018).

    Contributors

    Jane Desmarais, David Weir, Jerry Toner, Shushma Malik, Isobel Hurst, Chad Denton, Michael Shaw, Sacha Golob, Laura Moure Cecchini, Emma Sutton, Kate Krueger, Nicholas D. More, Melanie Hawthorne, Matthew Bradley, Jordan Kistler, Jeffrey Sachs, Theresa Zeitz-Lindamood, Katharina Herold, Stefano Evangelista, Gerald Gillespie, Chris Baldick, Deborah Longworth, Alice Condé

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