The Decadent movement was a late 19th century artistic and literary movement of Western Europe. It flourished in France, but also had devotees in England and throughout Europe, as well as in the United States.
Decadence was the name given, originally by hostile critics, to several late nineteenth-century writers who valued artifice more than the earlier Romantics' naïve descriptions. Some of them adopted the name, referring to themselves as "Decadents". For the most part, they were influenced by the tradition of Gothic novels and by the poetry and fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, and were associated with Symbolism and/or Aestheticism.
This concept of decadence dates from the eighteenth century, especially from Montesquieu, and was adopted by critics as a term of abuse after Désiré Nisard used it against Victor Hugo and Romanticism in general. A later generation of Romantics, such as Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire used the word proudly, to represent their rejection of what they considered banal "progress." During the 1880s a group of French writers referred to themselves as Decadents. The classic novel from this group is Joris-Karl Huysmans' Against Nature, often considered the first great decadent work, though others attribute this honour to Baudelaire's works. Decadence is now regarded as a transition between Romanticism and Modernism.
In Britain the leading figures associated with the Decadent movement were Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and some artists and writers associated with The Yellow Book. In the United States, the brothers Edgar and Francis Saltus wrote decadent fiction and poetry.
Symbolism has often been confused with Decadence. Several young writers were referred to derisively in the press as "decadent" during the mid 1880s. Jean Moréas' manifesto was largely a response to this polemic. A few of these writers embraced the term while most avoided it. Although the aesthetics of Symbolism and Decadence can be considered to be similar in some respects, the two remain distinct.
Artists and Writers
- ^ , Paul Verlaine and the decadence, 1882-90 By Philip Stephan, retrieved December 24, 2009
- ^ A Chronology, retrieved December 24, 2009
- ^ a b Decadence and the making of modernism By David Weir,retrieved December 24, 2009
- ^  Baudelaire and the Decadent Movement by Paul Bourget, retrieved December 24, 2009
- Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony, 1930 ISBN 0-19-281061-8
- Philippe Jullian, Esthétes et Magiciens 1969; Dreamers of Decadence, 1971.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
decadent — decadently /dek euh deuhnt lee, di kayd nt /, adv. /dek euh deuhnt, di kayd nt/, adj. 1. characterized by decadence, esp. culturally or morally: a decadent life of excessive money and no sense of responsibility. 2. (often cap.) of or like the… … Universalium
Symbolist movement — Literary movement that originated with a group of French poets in the late 19th century, spread to painting and the theatre, and influenced Russian, European, and American arts of the 20th century. Reacting against the rigid conventions of… … Universalium
30 September Movement — This article is part of the History of Indonesia series See also: Timeline of Indonesian History Prehistory Early kingdoms … Wikipedia
Students Islamic Movement of India — The Students Islamic Movement of India was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh state, in April 1977. The stated mission of SIMI is the ‘liberation of India’ from western materialistic cultural influence and to convert it into an Islamic society.… … Wikipedia
Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany — [ Nazi Germany initiated a strong anti tobacco movement] and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption. Research on smoking and its effects on health thrived under Nazi rulecitation|last=Proctor|first=Robert N.|title=Nazi Medicine and … Wikipedia
Liberal Movement — The Liberal Movement (LM) was a minor South Australian political party in the 1970s. Stemming from discontent within the ranks of the Liberal and Country League, it was organised in 1972 by former premier Steele Hall as an internal group in… … Wikipedia
Decadence — For other uses, see Decadence (disambiguation). An orgy in Imperial Rome, by Henryk Siemiradzki Decadence can refer to a personal trait, or to the state of a society (or segment of it). Used to describe a person s lifestyle. Concise Oxford… … Wikipedia
French literature — Introduction the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France. The French language was one of the five major Romance languages to develop from Vulgar Latin as a result of the … Universalium
English literature — Introduction the body of written works produced in the English language by inhabitants of the British Isles (including Ireland) from the 7th century to the present day. The major literatures written in English outside the British Isles are… … Universalium
Joris-Karl Huysmans — Joris Karl Huysmans. Born February 5, 1848 (1848 02 05) Paris, France … Wikipedia