Political Dandyism in Literature and Art

Genealogy of a Paradigm

  • Geertjan de Vugt

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 1-33
  3. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 35-59
  4. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 61-94
  5. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 95-128
  6. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 129-154
  7. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 155-182
  8. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 183-208
  9. Geertjan de Vugt
    Pages 209-218
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 219-243

About this book


This book traces a genealogy of political dandyism in literature. Dandies abstain from worldly affairs, and politics in particular. As an enigmatic figure, or a being of great eccentricity, it was the dandy that haunted the literary and cultural imagination of the nineteenth century. In fact, the dandy is often seen as a quintessential nineteenth-century figure. It was surprising, then, when at the beginning of the twenty-first century this figure returned from the past to an unexpected place: the very heart of European politics. Various so-called populist leaders were seen as political dandies. But how could that figure that was once known for its aversion towards politics all of a sudden become the protagonist of a new political paradigm? Or was the dandy perhaps always already part of a political imagination? This study charts the emergence of this political paradigm. From the dandy’s first appearance to his latest resurrection, from Charles Baudelaire to Jean-François Lyotard, from dandy-insects to a dandy-Christ, this book follows his various guises and disguises.


antebellum America nineteenth-century Paris fin-de-siècle Holland Sweden Great War postmodernism populism Baudelaire Nietzsche Van Deyssel Nils Dardel Jean-François Lyotard Walter Benjamin

Authors and affiliations

  • Geertjan de Vugt
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and SciencesAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information