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The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy, and Perversion from Fin-De-Siècle France
Paperback - English

In fin-de-si cle France, progress and material prosperity coincided with widespread alarm about disease and decay. The obsessions of our own culture at the end of the millennium resonated in a striking manner with those of the last fin de si cle: crime, pollution, sexually transmitted disease, gender confusion, moral depravity, alcoholism, and tobacco and drug use were topics of constant popular discussion in both epochs. The Decadent Reader is a collection of novels and stories from fin-de-si cle France that celebrate decline, aestheticize decay, and take pleasure in perversity. By embracing the marginal, the unhealthy, and the deviant, these writers attacked bourgeois life, which they perceived as the chief enemy of art. Barbey d'Aurevilly, J.K. Huysmans, Jean Lorrain, Guy de Maupassant, Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Catulle Mend s, Rachilde, Jean Mor as, Octave Mirbeau, Jos phin Peladan, and Remy de Gourmont looted the riches of their culture for their own purposes. From an age of medicine they borrowed its occult mysteries rather than its positivism. In its social Darwinism, they found their monsters: sadists, murderers, transvestites, fetishists, prostitutes, nymphomaniacs, and hysterics. And they reveled in them, completely upending the conventions of romance and sentimentality. The Decadent Reader, which includes novels and stories that have never before appeared in English, as well as reappraisals of work that the reader may already be familiar with, offers a compelling portrait of fin-de-si cle France.

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ADDITIONAL INFO

ISBN
EAN
9781890951078
Publisher
Publication Date
01/11/1998
Pages
1096
Dimension
20.32cm x 13.72cm x 3.56cm
Age Group
18 and above
Grades
College Freshman to UP
Lexile Level
0
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About Author

Hustvedt, Asti
Asti Hustvedt received her PhD in French literature from New York University. She has worked as an editor and translator, and lives in New York City with her family.




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