Symbolism, Decadence and the Fin de Siècle
French and European Perspectives
- 336 Pages
This is a comparative and interdisciplinary book exploring a variety of perspectives on the artistic culture of France, and its neighbours, in the period 1870–1914. Part One centres on France, and assembles essays on the prose, poetry and painting of Symbolism and Decadence, on avant-garde dance and performance, on women's writing and on early cinema.
Part Two explores the relations between France and several cultures in which the debt to France was amply and originally repaid, ranging from the Anglo-Celtic "Rhymers' Club" to the Italian "Crepusculari". The essays consistently point beyond the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth, as they explore the multiple beginnings–as well as the false starts–that characterize the period. All foreign language quotations are translated.
This is a comparative and interdisciplinary book exploring a variety of perspectives on the artistic culture of France, and its neighbours, in the period 1870-1914.
Contents: Part 1: Mallarme and the "siecle finissant", Peter Dayan; disinterested Narcissus - the play of politics in decadent form, Jennifer Birkett; experiment in women's writing in the "fin de siecle", Alison Finch; the poetry of symbolism and decadence, Clive Scott; the difficult distance - Mallarme and the symbolist stage, Michael Holland; the kinaesthetics of chance - Mallarme's "Un Coup de des" and avant-garde choreography, Dee Reynolds; Villiers, Verne, Lumiere - the business of immortality, Ian Christie; text and image, allegory and symbol in Gustave Moreau's "Jupiter et Semele", Peter Cooke; between medicine and hermeticism - "the" unconscious in the "fin de siecle". Part 2: primitivism, celticism and morbidity in the Atlantic "fin de siecle", Scott Ashley; Belgian symbolism and the question of Belgian literary identity, Patrick Laude; temporary aesthetes - decadence and symbolism in Germany and Austria, Robert Vilain; the war of the wor(l)ds - symbolist decadent literature and discourses of power in finisecular Spain, Richard A. Cardwell; French symbolism and Italian poetry, 1880-1920, Shirley W. Winall; from Mallarme to Pound - the "Franco-Anglo-American" axis, Patrick McGuinness.