The Devil's Advocates: Decadence in Modern Literature


"It is a feat to demystify decadence genially while dealing with unsavory material usually presented complicitously. But Whissen achieves even more. He is not looking at counterculture literature but at mainstream literature in which the reader either senses something decadent in the writer's attitude or identifies some rhetorical device associated with the decadence. . . . He focuses chiefly on authors who have been studied from other perspectives (e.g., Gide, Mann, James, Dinesen) or who have hardly been studied at all (e.g., Maugham, Firbank, Capote, Suesskind, Stephen King)." Choice

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