Sunday, May 13, 2012

Interesting idea about decadence from Remy de Gourmont

Who was a Decadent writer at turn of the (20th) century France. In an essay about Decadence and Stephane Mallarme, de Gourmont argues that what was called Decadence in France, the profusion of the bizarre, the fantastic, and the macabre in fiction and art, was actually innovation and creativity. Going from there, he declares that the Decadent is really the innovation that comes at the end of an Empire or an age, when what's been established has fell into ruins and people are experimenting with new forms. For Gourmount, the true Decadents in the popular sense were the Classical writers of 18th century France, who imitated the old forms without much innovation, in his opinion, and saw themselves as the height of artistic creation and sophistication. 

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