Explores culturally significant encounters between sensuality and artificiality in the poetry of Wilde, Symons, and Dowson. This book enquires into the problem of venerating artificiality and the inaccessibility of beauty associated with it whilst engaging in the sensuous, immediate experience as it is advocated by Walter Pater. It examines for the first time together poems by three protagonists of the 1890s: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Symons, and Ernest Dowson. It sees their poems as sites where the self sensually collides with or is immersed in their artifice. This is understood through the shift from Aestheticism to Decadence, which is marked by a greater emphasis on heterodox erotic experience. This study examines Wildes early poetry and its role in triggering this shift. It shows how the idea of an erotic encounter with artifice reaches its apex in Symons, and how in Dowson it ripens into vexed non-encounters. Key Featuresnbsp;The first monograph study to focus exclusively on Decadent poetry nbsp;Gives original attention to Oscar Wildes poetry which has been relatively neglected nbsp;Makes an explicit distinction between Aestheticism and Decadencenbsp;Includes a Coda which considers how this Decadent poetics transmutes in Modernism.Kostas Boyiopoulos is Teaching Associate at the Department of English Studies, Durham University. His main research specialisms are fin-de-sic e literature and culture, Decadence and Aestheticism, and Anglo-Continental literary transactions. He is a co-editor of The Decadent Short Story: An Annotated Anthology (Edinburgh UP, 2014) and, with Mark Sandy, of the forthcoming essay collection Decadent Romanticism (Ashgate, 2015). He has published articles on late Victorian and Modernist topics.
Edinburgh University Press
The Poetry of Wilde, Symons, and Dowson