Category Archives: Bibliography

Decadence bibliography

Here are some scholarly works of note that deal with the more general ideas, aspects, and contexts of Decadence (or more specific related aspects, such as certain actresses, linguistic issues, popular stereotypes of femininity, the dandy, etc.).  I hope you’ll find these references useful as you approach your final research projects for the class.  

If you’d like to add any books, articles, or websites to our bibliography, please let me know!  (Email me at or use comments section below.)

Aston, Elaine.  Sarah Bernhardt: A French Actress on the English Stage.  Oxford: Berg, 1989.

Berman, Marshall. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity.  Mew York: Penguin, 1988.

Bernheimer, Charles. Decadent Subjects: The Idea of Decadence in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Culture of the Fin de Siècle in Europe.  Ed. by T. Jefferson Kline and Naomi Schor.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2002.

—.  “Huysmans: Writing Against (Female) Nature.”  In The Female Body in Western Culture, ed. by Susan Rubin Suleiman, 373-86.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1985.

Calinescu, Matei.  Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism.  Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987.

Constable, Liz, Dennis Dennisoff, and Matthew Potolsky, eds.  Perennial Decay: On the Aesthetics and Politics of Decadence.  Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.

Dijkstra, Bram.  Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture.  New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986.

Dowling, Linda.  Language and Decadence in the Victorian Fin de Siècle.  Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989.

—–.  “The Decadent and the New Woman in the 1890s.” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 33 (1979): 434-53.

Emonds, Friederike B.  “Femme fragile.” In The Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature, ed. by Friederike Eigler and Susanne Kord, 165-66.  Westport, CT and London: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Felski, Rita.  The Gender of Modernity.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1995.

Finney, Gail.  Women in Modern Drama: Freud, Feminism, and European Theater at the Turn of the Century.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1989.

Foucault, Michel.  The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1: An Introduction.  Trans. by Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage, 1978.

—.  “A Preface to Transgression.”  In Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology, ed. by James D. Faubion.  Vol. 2, Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984, ed. by Paul Rabinow, 69-87.  New York: New Press, 1998.

Garelick, Rhonda K.  Rising Star: Dandyism, Gender, and Performance in the Fin de Siècle.  Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998.

Hanson, Ellis.  Decadence and Catholicism.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Hilmes, Carola.  Die Femme Fatale: Ein Weiblichkeitstypus in der nachromantischen Literatur.  Stuttgart: Metzler, 1990.

Kermode, Frank.  Romantic Image.  2nd ed.  London: Routledge, 2002.

Marvick, Louis Wirth.  Mallarmé and the Sublime.  Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press, 1986.

Menon, Elizabeth.  Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme Fatale Urbana and Chicago: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2006.

Moog-Grünewald, Maria.  “Die Frau als Bild des Schicksals: Zur Ikonologie der Femme fatale.”  Arcadia 18 (1983): 239-57.

Nordau, Max.  Degeneration.  Trans. from the 2d ed. of the German work (1892), introd. by George L. Mosse.  Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1993.

Praz, Mario.  The Romantic Agony.  Trans. by Angus Davidson.  2nd ed. Oxford Univ. Press, 1970.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky.  Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire.  New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1985.

—.  Epistemology of the Closet.  Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990.

Showalter, Elaine.  Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de SiècleNew York: Penguin, 1990.

Stokes, John.  The French Actress and Her English Audience.  Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005.

Stoljar, Margaret.  “Mirror and Self in ‘Fin-de-Siècle’ Poetry.”  Modern Language Review 85:2 (1990): 362-372.

Thomalla, Ariane.  Die ‘femme fragile’: Ein literarischer Frauentypus der Jahrhundertwende.  Düsseldorf: Bertelsmann, 1972.

Weir, David.  Decadence and the Making of Modernism.  Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1995.

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