By Charles Bernheimer
Charles Bernheimer defined decadence as a "stimulant that bends concept out of form, deforming conventional conceptual molds." during this posthumously released paintings, Bernheimer succeeds in creating a severe idea out of this perennially stylish, infrequently understood term.
Decadent Subjects is a coherent and relocating photo of fin de siècle decadence. Mature, ironic, iconoclastic, and considerate, this amazing number of essays exhibits the contradictions of the phenomenon, that is either a and a frame of mind. In trying to express why humans have did not supply a passable account of the time period decadence, Bernheimer argues that we regularly mistakenly take decadence to symbolize whatever concrete, that we see as a few kind of agent. His salutary reaction is to come back to these authors and artists whose paintings constitutes the topos of decadence, rereading key past due nineteenth-century authors reminiscent of Nietzsche, Zola, Hardy, Wilde, Moreau, and Freud to rediscover the very dynamics of the decadent. via cautious research of the literature, artwork, and tune of the fin de siècle together with a riveting dialogue of the numerous faces of Salome, Bernheimer leaves us with a desirable and multidimensional examine decadence, all of the extra vital as we emerge from our personal fin de siècle.
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Additional resources for Decadent subjects : the idea of decadence in art, literature, philosophy, and culture of the fin de siècle in Europe
He was, says Nietzsche, “in his old age by all means feminini generis” (CW, 191). Thus, to love Wagner was to love the other in the same, to love woman in the transvestized form of a hysterical man. Moreover, Nietzsche argues that Wagner’s work itself promotes the collapse of sexual diﬀerence. By focusing on the goal of redemption, his operas lure their audience away from the actuality of “the deadly hatred of the sexes” (CW, 159)—well dramatized, Nietzsche argues, by Bizet—toward a single ideal, the Eternal Feminine.
Nietzsche’s Decadence Philosophy In contrast to Bourget, for whom the metaphor of organic decomposition oﬀers an insight into the psychological sources of an aesthetics of the future, Nietzsche uses the same image to justify condemning decadent art and the modernity it expresses. In the context of an analysis of the way Wagner typiﬁes decadence, Nietzsche writes: “What is the sign of every literary décadence? That life no longer dwells in the whole. ” Life, equal vitality, the vibration and exuberance of life pushed back into the smallest forms; the rest poor in life.
The phenomenon of décadence is as necessary as any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it” (WP, 25). As applied to history, what this means is that societies do not go through periods of prosperity and health followed by periods of decline but that “décadence belongs to all epochs of mankind: refuse and decaying matter are found everywhere: it is one of life’s processes to exclude the forms of decline and decay” (WP, 184–85). From this perspective, decadence has a necessary and beneﬁcial place in the economy of life.
Decadent subjects : the idea of decadence in art, literature, philosophy, and culture of the fin de siècle in Europe by Charles Bernheimer