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Quotes About Decadents

Quotes tagged as "decadents" (showing 1-30 of 33)
Théophile Gautier
“(Decadent style) is ingenious, complicated, learned, full of shades of meaning and research, always pushing further the limits of language... forcing itself to express in thought that which is most ineffable, and in form the vaguest and most fleeting contours; listening that it may translate them to the subtle confidences of the neuropath, to the avowals of aging and depraved passion, and to the singular hallucinations of the fixed idea verging on madness... In opposition to the classic style, it admits of shading, and these shadows teem and swarm with the larvae of superstitions, the haggard phantoms of insomnia, nocturnal terrors, remorse which starts and turns back at the slightest noise, monstrous dreams stayed only by impotence, obscure phantasies at which daylight would stand amazed, and all that the soul conceals of the dark, the unformed, and the vaguely horrible, in its deepest and furthest recesses.”
Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire and His Life

“Everyone in a decadent society, Lorrain urges, is guilty. Everyone loves masking murder and everyone takes masochistic pleasure in the risk of discovery and punishment.”
Jennifer Birkett

Jean Lorrain
“Masks! I see them everywhere. That dreadful vision of the other night - the deserted town with its masked corpses in every doorway; that nightmare product of morphine and ether - has taken up residence within me. I see masks in the street, I see them on stage in the theatre, I find yet more of them in the boxes. They are on the balcony and in the orchestra-pit. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by masks. The attendants to whom I give my overcoat are masked; masks crowd around me in the foyer as everyone leaves, and the coachman who drives me home has the same cardboard grimace fixed upon his face!

It is truly too much to bear: to feel that one is alone and at the mercy of all those enigmatic and deceptive faces, alone amid all the mocking laughs and the threats embodied in those masks. I have tried to persuade myself that I am dreaming, and that I am the victim of a hallucination, but all the powdered and painted faces of women, all the rouged lips and kohl-blackened eyelids... all of that has created around me an atmosphere of trance and mortal agony. Cosmetics: there is the root cause of my illness!

But I am happy, now, when there are only masks! Sometimes, I detect the cadavers beneath, and remember that beneath the masks there is a host of spectres.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Rachilde
“A very special case. A few years more, and that pretty creature who you love too much, I think, will, without ever loving them, have known as many men as there are beads on her aunt's rosary. No happy medium! Either a nun or a monster! God's bosom or sensual passions! It would, perhaps, be better to put her in a convent, since we put hysterical women in the Saltpetriere! She does not know vice, she invents it!"

That was ten years ago before the day our story begins and... Raoule was not a nun.”
Rachilde, Monsieur Venus: A Materialist Novel

Joris-Karl Huysmans
“In this game he had acquired a great deal of muddled knowledge, more than one approximation and less than one certitude. And absence of energy, a curiosity that was too sharp to be crushed immediately, a lack of order in his ideas, a weakening of his spiritual boundaries, which were promptly twisted, an excessive passion for running along forked roads and wearying of the path as soon as he had started on it, mental indigestion demanding varied dishes, quickly tiring of the foods he desired, digesting almost all, but badly, was his state.”
Joris-Karl Huysmans, Becalmed

Jean Lorrain
“The madness of the eyes is the lure of the abyss. Sirens lurk in the dark depths of the pupils as they lurk at the bottom of the sea, that I know for sure - but I have never encountered them, and I am searching still for the profound and plaintive gazes in whose depths I might be able, like Hamlet redeemed, to drown the Ophelia of my desire.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Joséphin Péladan
“Those very superficial sensualists and profligates who lead the dance of Latin decadence have not seen, among their dancing girls and their pennies, that the disappearance of symbols was a precursor to the ruin of a people; communities only have abstract reasons for existing...”
Joséphin Péladan

Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
“For a decadent like Baudelaire the only possible ends are suicide or the foot of the cross”
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly

Jean Lorrain
“There were charming ones as well as terrible ones, that I must admit. The painter was particularly entranced by Japanese masks: warriors', actors' and courtesans' masks. Some of them were frightfully contorted, the bronze cheeks creased by a thousand wrinkles, with vermilion weeping from the corners of the eyes and long trails of green at the corners of the mouths like splenetic beards.

'These are the masks of demons,' said the Englishman, caressing the long black swept-back tresses of one of them. 'The Samurai wore them in battle, to terrify the enemy. The one which is covered in green scales, with two opal pendants between the nostrils, is the mask of a sea-demon. This one, with the tufts of white fur for eyebrows and the two horsehair brushes beside the lips, is the mask of an old man. These others, of white porcelain - a material as smooth and fine as the cheeks of a Japanese maiden, and so gentle to the touch - are the masks of courtesans. See how alike they all are, with their delicate nostrils, their round faces and their heavy slanted eyelids; they are all effigies of the same goddess. The black of their wigs is rather beautiful, isn't it? Those which bubble over with laughter even in their immobility are the masks of comic actors.'

That devil of a man pronounced the names of demons, gods and goddesses; his erudition cast a spell. Then: 'Bah! I have been down there too long!'

Now he took up the light edifices of gauze and painted silk which were Venetian masks. 'Here is a Cockadrill, a Captain Fracasse, a Pantaloon and a Braggadocio. Only the noses are different - and the cut of their moustaches, if you look at them closely. Doesn't the white silk mask with enormous spectacles evoke a rather comical dread? It is Doctor Curucucu, an actual marionette featured in the Tales of Hoffmann. And what about that one, with all the black horsehair and the long spatulate nose like a stork's beak tipped with a spoon? Can you imagine anything more appalling? It's a duenna's mask; amorous young women were well-guarded when they had to go about flanked by old dragons dressed up in something like that. The whole carnival of Venice is put on parade before us beneath the cape and the domino, lying in ambush behind these masks... Would you like a gondola? Where shall we go, San Marco or the Lido?”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Robert W. Chambers
“It is well known how the book spread like an infectious disease, from city to city, from continent to continent, barred out here, confiscated there, denounced by press and pulpit, censured even by the most advanced of literary anarchists. No definite principles had been violated in those wicked pages, no doctrine promulgated, no convictions outraged. It could not be judged by any known standard, yet, although it was acknowledged that the supreme note of art had been struck in "The King in Yellow," all felt that human nature could not bear the strain nor thrive on words in which the essence of purest poison lurked. The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterwards with more awful effect.”
Robert W. Chambers, Yellow Sign & Other Stories

Jean Lorrain
“Astarte has come again, more powerful than before. She possesses me. She lies in wait for me.

December 97

My cruelty has also returned: the cruelty which frightens me. It lies dormant for months, for years, and then all at once awakens, bursts forth and - once the crisis is over - leaves me in mortal terror of myself.

Just now in the avenue of the Bois, I whipped my dog till he bled, and for nothing - for not coming immediately when I called! The poor animal was there before me, his spine arched, cowering close to the ground, with his great, almost human, eyes fixed on me... and his lamentable howling! It was as though he were waiting for the butcher! But it was as if a kind of drunkenness had possessed me. The more I struck out the more I wanted to strike; every shudder of that quivering flesh filled me with some incomprehensible ardour. A circle of onlookers formed around me, and I only stopped myself for the sake of my self-respect.

Afterwards, I was ashamed.

I am always ashamed of myself nowadays. The pulse of life has always filled me with a peculiar rage to destroy. When I think of two beings in love, I experience an agonising sensation; by virtue of some bizarre backlash, there is something which smothers and oppresses me, and I suffocate, to the point of anguish.

Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night to the muted hubbub of bumps and voices which suddenly become perceptible in the dormant city - all the cries of sexual excitement and sensuality which are the nocturnal respiration of cities - I feel weak. They rise up around me, submerging me in a sluggish flux of embraces and a tide of spasms. A crushing weight presses down on my chest; a cold sweat breaks out on my brow and my heart is heavy - so heavy that I have to get up, run bare-foot and breathless, to my window, and open both shutters, trying desperately to breathe. What an atrocious sensation it is! It is as if two arms of steel bear down upon my shoulders and a kind of hunger hollows out my stomach, tearing apart my whole being! A hunger to exterminate love.

Oh, those nights! The long hours I have spent at my window, bent over the immobile trees of the square and the paving-stones of the deserted street, on watch in the silence of the city, starting at the least noise! The nights I have passed, my heart hammering in anguish, wretchedly and impatiently waiting for my torment to consent to leave me, and for my desire to fold up the heavy wings which beat inside the walls of my being like the wings of some great fluttering bird!

Oh, my cruel and interminable nights of impotent rebellion against the rutting of Paris abed: those nights when I would have liked to embrace all the bodies, to suck in all the breaths and sup all the mouths... those nights which would find me, in the morning, prostrate on the carpet, scratching it still with inert and ineffectual fingers... fingers which never know anything but emptiness, whose nails are still taut with the passion of murder twenty-four hours after the crises... nails which I will one day end up plunging into the satined flesh of a neck, and...

It is quite clear, you see, that I am possessed by a demon... a demon which doctors would treat with some bromide or with all-healing sal ammoniac! As if medicines could ever be imagined to be effective against such evil!”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

“Superficially, the figure in the smoking-room was that of a long, weedy young man - hairless as to his face; scalped with a fine lank fleece of neutral tint; pale-eyed, and slave to a bored and languid expression, over which he had little control, though it frequently misrepresented his mood. He was dressed scrupulously, though not obtrusively, in the mode, and was smoking a pungent cigarette with an air that seemed balanced between a genuine effort at self-abstraction and a fear of giving offence by a too pronounced show of it. In this state, flying bubbles of conversation broke upon him as he sat a little apart and alone.

("The Accursed Cordonnier")”
Bernard Capes, Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others

“The fascinated loathing which he (Jean Lorrain) cultivated for the decadence of fin de siecle Paris has a good deal of envy and ardent desire in it; in the words of Hubert Juin, he 'loved his epoch to the point of detestation.'

(Introduction: "The Life And Career Of Jean Lorrain)”
Francis Amery, Monsieur De Phocas

“This,' said the stranger softly, as if to himself, 'is the woeful proof, indeed, of decadence. Man waives his prerogative of lordship over the irreclaimable savagery of earth. He has warmed his temperate house of clay to be a hot-house to his imagination, till the very walls are frail and eaten with fever.'

("The Accursed Cordonnier")”
Bernard Capes, Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others

Jean Lorrain
“Freneuse is an oddball, an idler, without any aim in life! If you ask me, he has smoked too much opium in the East, and that explains his somnolence, his morbid lethargies. It's the hazardous legacy of bad habits! He has been comprehensively undone; the heavy influence of poisonous opiates never ceases to oppress him. Besides which, his steel-blue eyes are surely the eyes of a smoker of opium. He carries the drunken burden of hemp in his veins. Opium is like syphilis' - le Mazel released the word carelessly - 'it is a thing which stays for years and years in the blood, because the body is unable to purge itself. It must be absorbed, in the long run, by iodide.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“Ensor sees with his imagination, but his vision is perfectly accurate, of an almost geometric precision. He is one of the very few who can really see. Like you, he has an obsession with masks; he is a seer as you and I are. The common herd, of course thinks that he is mad.

*****************

You shall see what sort of man Ensor is, and what a marvellous insight he has into the invisible realm where our vices are created... those vices for which our faces make masks.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“Look, de Mazel, you've known him for years - hasn't he been known to sleep for forty hours in two days?'

'Forty hours?'

'Certainly. He awoke at meal times, just to take nourishment, and afterwards fell again into his torpor. And Freneuse had a strange horror of sleep; there was some abnormal phenomenon associated with it, some lesion of the brain or neurotic depression.'

'The troublesome cerebral anaemia which results from excessive debauchery. Another myth! I've never believed, myself, in the supposed debauchery of that poor gentleman. Such a frail chap, with such a delicate complexion! Quite frankly, there was no scope in him for debauchery.

'Pooh! About as much as Lorenzaccio!'

'You associate him with the Medicis! Lorenzaccio was a Florentine impassioned by rancour, a man of energy slowly brooding over his vengeance, caressing it as he might caress the blade of a dagger! There is not the slightest comparison to be drawn between Lorenzaccio and that gall-green, liverish creature Freneuse.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“The beauty of the twentieth century is the charm of the hospital, the grace of the cemetery, of consumption and emaciation. I admit that I have submitted to it all; worse, I have loved with all my heart.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk...

I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up.

Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief.

It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers.

To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret!

And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!...

Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long?

The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“The Marquis de V... - whose falsetto voice and little watery eyes I have always detested - was saying to me with a wicked smile: 'Then again, the master gymnast might break his neck at any moment. What he is doing now is very dangerous, my dear, and the pleasure you take in his performance is the little frisson that danger affords you. Wouldn't it be thrilling, if his sweaty hand failed to grip the bar? The velocity acquired by his rotation about the bar would break his spine quite cleanly, and perhaps a little of the cervical matter might spurt out as far as this! It would be most sensational, and you would have a rare emotion to add to the field of your experience - for you collect emotions, don't you? What a pretty stew of terrors that man in tights stirs up in us!

'Admit that you almost wish that he will fall! Me too. Many others in the auditorium are in the same state of attention and anguish. That is the horrible instinct of a crowd confronted with a spectacle which awakens in it the ideas of lust and death. Those two agreeable companions always travel together! Take it from me that at the very same moment - see, the man is now holding on to the bar by his fingertips alone - at the very same moment, a good number of the women in these boxes are ardently lusting after that man, not so much for his beauty as for the danger he courts.'

The voice subtly changed its tone, suddenly becoming more interested. 'You have singularly pale eyes this evening, my dear Freneuse. You ought to give up bromides and take valerian instead. You have a charming and curious soul, but you must take command of its changes. You are too ardently and too obviously covetous, this evening, of the death - or at least the fall - of that man.'

I did not reply. The Marquis de V... was quite right. The madness of murder had taken hold of me again; the spectacle had me in its hallucinatory grip. Straitened by a penetrating and delirious anguish, I yearned for that man to fall.

There are appalling depths of cruelty within me.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

“I think God hands over to His apprentices the moulding of vessels that don't interest Him.

("The Accursed Cordonnier")”
Bernard Capes, Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others

“Lady Sarah Henbery was his hostess, and the inspired projector of a new scheme of existence (that was, in effect, the repudiation of any scheme) that had become quite the 'thing.' She had found life an arbitrary design - a coil of days (like fancy pebbles, dull or sparkling) set in the form of a mainspring, and each gem responsible to the design. Then she had said, 'To-day shall not follow yesterday or precede to-morrow'; and she had taken her pebbles from their setting and mixed them higgledy-piggledy, and so was in the way to wear or spend one or the other as caprice moved her. And she became without design and responsibility, and was thus able to indulge a natural bent towards capriciousness to the extent that - having a face for each and every form of social hypocrisy and licence - she was presently hardly to be put out of countenance by the extremist expression of either.

It followed that her reunions were popular with worldlings of a certain order.

("The Accursed Cordonnier")”
Bernard Capes, Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others

Jean Lorrain
“The other evening, in that cafe-cabaret in the Rue de la Fontaine, where I had run aground with Tramsel and Jocard, who had taken me there to see that supposedly-fashionable singer... how could they fail to see that she was nothing but a corpse?

Yes, beneath the sumptuous and heavy ballgown, which swaddled her and held her upright like a sentry-box of pink velvet trimmed and embroidered with gold - a coffin befitting the queen of Spain - there was a corpse! But the others, amused by her wan voice and her emaciated frame, found her quaint - more than that, quite 'droll'...

Droll! that drab, soft and inconsistent epithet that everyone uses nowadays! The woman had, to be sure, a tiny carven head, and a kind of macabre prettiness within the furry heap of her opera-cloak. They studied her minutely, interested by the romance of her story: a petite bourgeoise thrown into the high life following the fad which had caught her up - and neither of them, nor anyone else besides in the whole of that room, had perceived what was immediately evident to my eyes. Placed flat on the white satin of her dress, the two hands of that singer were the two hands of a skeleton: two sets of knuckle-bones gloved in white suede. They might have been drawn by Albrecht
Durer: the ten fingers of an evil dead woman, fitted at the ends of the two overlong and excessively thin arms of a mannequin...

And while that room convulsed with laughter and thrilled with pleasure, greeting her buffoonery and her animal cries with a dolorous ovation, I became convinced that her hands no more belonged to her body than her body, with its excessively high shoulders, belonged to her head...

The conviction filled me with such fear and sickness that I did not hear the singing of a living woman, but of some automaton pieced together from disparate odds and ends - or perhaps even worse, some dead woman hastily reconstructed from hospital remains: the macabre fantasy of some medical student, dreamed up on the benches of the lecture-hall... and that evening began, like some tale of Hoffmann, to turn into a vision of the lunatic asylum.

Oh, how that Olympia of the concert-hall has hastened the progress of my malady!”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

“Let the beggar speak for himself. He's in earnest. Haven't we been bred on the principle of self-sacrifice, till we've come to think a man's self is his uncleanest possession?”
Bernard Capes, Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others

Jean Lorrain
“The larvae! The scent of young blood entices and draws them closer. There's no need to venture into antiquity to evoke the shades of the dead.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“Then Chameroy spoke. 'You always put the blame on opium, but as I see it the case of Freneuse is much more complicated. Him, an invalid? No - a character from the tales of Hoffmann! Have you never taken the trouble to look at him carefully? That pallor of decay; the twitching of his bony hands, more Japanese than chrysanthemums; the arabesque profile; that vampiric emaciation - has all of that never given you cause to reflect? In spite of his supple body and his callow face Freneuse is a hundred thousand years old. That man has lived before, in ancient times under the reigns of Heliogabalus, Alexander IV and the last of the Valois. What am I saying? That man is Henri III himself. I have in my library an edition of Ronsard - a rare edition, bound in pigskin with metal trimmings - which contains a portrait of Henri engraved on vellum. One of these nights I will bring the volume here to show you, and you may judge for yourselves. Apart from the ruff, the doublet and the earrings, you would believe that you were looking at the Due de Freneuse. As far as I'm concerned, his presence here inevitably makes me ill - and so long as he is present, there is such an oppression, such a heaviness...”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“It is said that one of his acquaintances - an old school-friend and a painter as highly-valued and as fashionable as himself - became an idiot in less than two years as a result of frequenting Claudius' studio.

Certain cigarettes prepared by Ethal are said to provoke the worst debauchery; and it is said that the young Duchess of Searley was dead in six months, by virtue of having breathed the scent of certain strange and heady flowers in his home, whose peculiar property is to make the skin lustrous and the eyes delectably hollow.

According to Tairamond, dangerous elixirs of beauty are offered by Claudius to those who pose for him. The Marchioness of Beacoscome might have died too, if she had not been ordered by her doctors to suspend her sittings. These marvellous flowers which generate pallors and shadowed eyes contain within their perfume, it seems, the germ of consumption. For love of beauty, in his fervour for delicate flesh-tints and expressions swamped with languor, Claudius Ethal would poison his models!

Tairamond also asked me if I had seen Ethal wearing a certain emerald mounted in a ring, whose green depths contain a poison so powerful that a single drop on the lips of a man would suffice to strike him down. Ethal has allegedly tested that frightful glaucous death two or three times, before witnesses, on dogs.

Cantharidian cigarettes, opium pipes, venomous flowers, Far-Eastern poisons and murderous rings... I knew nothing about any of this. Ethal has never breathed a word of it to me. The tales which Tairamond told gave me entry into a fearful and dismal legend. The corrupter and perverter of ideas that I already knew him to be was overtaken by a new image: he was, definitively, a poisoner: an impish master of every kind of venom.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Jean Lorrain
“It is a sort of quasi-monastic diabolical vision. In a landscape populated with larvae - flowing and undulating larvae called forth like a cascade of leeches by tolling bells - three female figures rise up phantasmally, enshrouded with gauze like Spanish madonnas. They are the 'three brides': the bride of Heaven, the bride of the Earth and the bride of Hell...

The bride of Hell, with her two serpents writhing about her temples to hold her veil in place, has the most attractive mask: the most profound eyes, the most vertiginous smile that one could ever see.

If she existed, how I would love that woman! I feel that if that smile and those eyes were in my life they would be all the cure I need!

I could never tire of the study and contemplation of that hallucinatory visage.

"The Three Brides" is very peculiar in its detail and composition. It is the whimsy of a dream rendered with astonishing fastidiousness: the delusion of an opium-smoker composed in the style of Holbein.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

“On the whole, although Zuleika is shallow and vain, we don’t blame her for her disastrous effect on Oxford because we perceive that the love she inspires is essentially narcissistic and has deep roots in the institution she has overwhelmed. It is a love of the unobtainable ideal—the paradox of self-fulfillment in self-destruction—which originates with Romanticism, with Byron and Shelley, and finds its apotheosis in the decadent pose of Wilde: his open self-love, yet self-destructive wantonness and preoccupation with death.”
Sara Lodge, Zuleika Dobson

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