Decadence, Degeneration, and the End

Studies in the European Fin de Siècle

Authors: Härmänmaa, Marja, Nissen, Christopher

Editors: Walsh, Jeffrey (Ed.)

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About this book

Art and literature during the European fin-de-siècle period often manifested themes of degeneration and decay, both of bodies and civilizations, as well as illness, bizarre sexuality, and general morbidity. This collection explores these topics in relation to artists and writers as diverse as Oscar Wilde, August Strindberg, and Aubrey Beardsley.

About the authors

Anastasia Antonopoulou, University of Athens, Greece Johannes Burgers, Queensborough Community College, USA Gülru Çakmak, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA Maura Coughlin, Bryant University, USA Magali Fleurot, University of Bordeaux, France Kristen M. Harkness, University of Pittsburgh, USA Pirjo Lyytikäinen, University of Helsinki, Finland Kyle Mox, Texas A&M University, USA Natalia Santamaría Laorden, Ramapo College, USA Abigail Susik, Willamette University, USA Mason Tattersall, Oregon State University, USA

Reviews

"Marja Härmänmaa and Christopher Nissen's Decadence, Degeneration, and the End: Studies in the European Fin de Siècle is a highly original collection of essays that successfully brings new issues, new authors, and new artists into the orbit of decadent culture. A particular strength is the book's richly comparative, multidisciplinary approach: the essays range over British, French, Belgian, Spanish, Scandinavian, German, Greek, Italian, and Russian culture, while also extending discussion of decadence beyond literature and into the fields of art and science. A significant contribution to a topic of growing importance." - David Weir, Professor of Comparative Literature, The Cooper Union, USA and author of Decadence and the Making of Modernism and Decadent Culture in the United States: Art and Literature against the American Grain, 1890 1926

"This extraordinary collection of essays brings a new geographical and intellectual scope to our notion of decadence and its close relatives, degeneracy and aestheticism. Through history and science, visual and literary arts, from France and Britain to Russia, from the Nordic countries to Italy, Spain and Latin America, this volume incorporates an unprecedented range of materials. All scholars of the period will immediately recognise why this is essential reading, and the editors are to be congratulated on their vision in assembling a collection at once so varied and so focused." - David Ayers, Professor of Modernism and Critical Theory, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK

"The fin-de-siècle decadence is a complex and multifaceted cultural phenomenon that reached deeply into all aspects of European culture and the arts. This excellent volume offers a much needed reassessment of a number of key aesthetic and thematic preoccupations of decadent culture by means of a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective. The focus on notions of decadence, degeneration, and death sheds light onto the dark and pessimistic response of artists to modern life and science, while arguing forcefully for a reappraisal of such notions as fundamental to the call for regeneration and renewal in political, literary, and artistic terms which we normally associate with modernism." - Giuliana Pieri, Reader in Italian and the Visual Arts, Holloway University of London, UK


Table of contents (13 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Nissen, Christopher (et al.)

    Pages 1-14

  • Thermal Degeneration: Thermodynamics and the Heat-Death of the Universe in Victorian Science, Philosophy, and Culture

    Tattersall, Mason

    Pages 17-34

  • A Regenerative Decadence or a Decadent Regeneration: Challenges to Darwinian Determinism by French, Spanish, and Latin American Writers in the Fin de Siècle

    Laorden, Natalia Santamaría

    Pages 35-47

  • Late Antiquity as an Expression of Decadence in the Poetry of Constantine P. Cavafy and Stefan George

    Antonopoulou, Anastasia

    Pages 49-65

  • Decadence and Regeneration: Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales as a Tool for Social Change

    Fleurot, Magali

    Pages 67-82

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47086-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-47088-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $90.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-50080-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Decadence, Degeneration, and the End
Book Subtitle
Studies in the European Fin de Siècle
Authors
Editors
  • Jeffrey Walsh
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Marja Härmänmaa and Christopher Nissen
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-47086-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137470867
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-47088-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-50080-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 282
Number of Illustrations and Tables
11 b/w illustrations
Topics