OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Decadence: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780190610227

参考価格(税込): 
¥1,628
著者: 
David Weir
ページ
152 ページ
フォーマット
Paperback
サイズ
111 x 175 mm
刊行日
2018年04月
シリーズ
Very Short Introductions

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  • A concise and sophisticated account of the history of decadence from its origins in ancient Rome to its present resonance in contemporary life
  • Analyzes decadence according to cities — Rome, Paris, London, Vienna, and Berlin — providing unique insights into urban geography and broadening the concept of decadence outside the usual orbit of fin-de-siècle London and Paris
  • Discusses the expanded sense of class in the idea of bourgeois and mass decadence
  • Includes arts other than literature, notably painting, architecture, and film

 
The historical trajectory of decadent culture runs from ancient Rome, to nineteenth-century Paris, Victorian London, fin de siècle Vienna, Weimar Berlin, and beyond. The first of these, the decline of Rome, provides the pattern for both aesthetic and social decadence, a pattern that artists and writers in the nineteenth century imitated, emulated, parodied, and otherwise manipulated for aesthetic gain. What begins as the moral condemnation of modernity in mid-nineteenth century France on the part of decadent authors such as Charles Baudelaire ends up as the perverse celebration of the pessimism that imperial decline, whether real or imagined, involves. This delight in decline informs the so-called breviary, or even bible, of decadence from Joris-Karl Huysmans's À Rebours, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Aubrey Beardsley's drawings, Gustav Klimt's paintings, and numerous other works. 

In this Very Short Introduction, David Weir explores these conflicting attitudes towards modernity present in decadent culture by examining the difference between aesthetic decadence — the excess of artifice — and social decadence, which involves excess in a variety of forms, whether perversely pleasurable or gratuitously cruel. Such contrariness between aesthetic and social decadence led some of its practitioners to substitute art for life and to stress the importance of taste over morality, a maneuver with far-reaching consequences, especially as decadence enters the realm of popular culture today.

目次: 

List of Illustrations
Introduction
1 Rome: Classical Decadence
2 Paris: Cultural Decadence
3 London: Social Decadence
4 Vienna and Berlin: Socio-cultural Decadence
Conclusion: Legacies of Decadence
References
Further reading
Index

著者について: 

David Weir is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Cooper Union, where he taught literature, linguistics, and cinema for 30 years. He has published books on Jean Vigo, James Joyce, William Blake, orientalism, anarchism, and decadence.

"incisive survey" - Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education

"entertaining" - ANZLitLovers

"Weir does us a service by bringing into one accessible book the decadences of different ages for comparison." - Jad Adams, The Wildean

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