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The electronic version of Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics is available at: www.ceeol.com

2003 - 2005

Selection of the most interesting abstracts and full texts.

Romanticism and Dandyism

http://aesthetics.ff.cuni.cz/archive/173/romanticism-and-dandyism

 

The purpose of this study is to compare two prominent types of the 19th century social and literary self-stylization, i.e. the figure of a Romantic hero and that of a dandy. Dandy, as described by Barbey d’Aurevilly notably in Du dandysme et de George Brummell and by Baudelaire notably in Le Dandy, is an abstraction used to enhance the explicitness of explanation. The text necessarily pays great attention to Byron: the man, whose image represents the prototype of a ‘Romantic poet’, and whose works like Don Juan together with his personal example were decisive for the formation of early French (literary) dandyism. The stylization of Byronic hero appears here as an amalgam of Romantic and dandy pose, a distinct pose halfway between both. Byron also influenced the most common dandy author-work attitude consisting in the negligence of writing – professed insouciance was to protect him from the peril of falling into the despised state of a literary craftsman or a man of letters, for he preferred to be taken for an aristocrat and a man of fashion. This literary dandyism is still closely connected with social stylization. Personal ‘dandyism’ of some of the younger French romanticists (so called les Jeunes France) has very little in common with the English original: before all, it is marked with extravagance which Brummell would find ridiculous or offensive. Nevertheless in young Gautier, for instance, there are some very fine examples of literary dandyism; his opinions are pointing further to Baudelaire, Huysmans and Wilde.

The abstract has not been proof-read.