Advertisement

The Uses of Decadence: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce

Chapter
  • 32 Downloads

Abstract

Victorian melancholy disclosed its uneasiness in the concept of decadence. The word began to be used in England about 1850, as if the distentions of empire necessarily entailed spiritual decline and fall. ‘Decadent’ was not a word that Ruskin or Arnold found congenial: Ruskin preferred ‘corruption’ and Arnold ‘philistinism’ and ‘barbarism’. But decadence, with implications of the fading day, season and century, had an unfamiliar ring and gradually came to seem the right word. As if to confirm its rightness, the principal guardians of the Victorian age in statecraft and in literature ailed and then died symbolically as well as literally. Most were gone by the time the nineties started. ‘The woods decay, the woods decay and fall.’

Keywords

Wood Decay High Ethic Honorific Title Pure Invention Verse Dialogue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Ceri Crossley and Ian Small 1988

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations