Posted on 04/03/2014
On Thursday 6 March Dr Alex Murray (University of Exeter) will speak about ‘Landscapes of Decadence', 6-7.30pm (International Building 007). Dr Murray has sent the following abstract:
'In this paper I will outline the ways in which Decadent writers of the fin de siècle wrote about place and location. Whether they were writing about a metropolis, a village or a lonely seascape, writers of the period were self-consciously working within a tradition of landscape writing they inherited from the eighteenth century. Like their aestheticism forebears, such as Ruskin and Pater, they treated landscape as an aesthetic category that troubled notions of experience and embodiment, yet unlike them they attempted to develop a landscape writing that foregrounded literary form, using experimentation to undermine Victorian attempts to imbue landscapes with morality. The paper will focus on Lionel Johnson's and Arthur Symons's Cornwall, along with Wilde's critique of Wordswothiana as it plots the coordinates of the Landscapes of Decadence.'