Download Decadence: A Very Short Introduction Audiobook

Decadence: A Very Short Introduction Audiobook, by David Weir Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: David Weir Narrator: Graham Halstead Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Very Short Introductions Series Release Date: August 2018 ISBN: 9781541447028
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The history of decadent culture runs from ancient Rome to nineteenth-century Paris, Victorian London, fin de siècle Vienna, Weimar Berlin, and beyond. The decline of Rome provides the pattern for both aesthetic and social decadence, a pattern that artists and writers in the nineteenth century imitated, emulated, parodied, and otherwise manipulated for aesthetic gain. What begins as the moral condemnation of modernity in mid-nineteenth century France on the part of decadent authors such as Charles Baudelaire ends up as the perverse celebration of the pessimism that accompanies imperial decline. This delight in decline informs the rich canon of decadence that runs from Joris-Karl Huysmans's À Rebours to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

In this Very Short Introduction, David Weir explores the conflicting attitudes towards modernity present in decadent culture by examining the difference between aesthetic decadence—the excess of artifice—and social decadence, which involves excess in a variety of forms, whether perversely pleasurable or gratuitously cruel. Such contrariness between aesthetic and social decadence led some of its practitioners to substitute art for life and to stress the importance of taste over morality, a maneuver with far-reaching consequences. Download and start listening now!

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About the Author

David Weir is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Cooper Union, where he taught literature, linguistics, and cinema for thirty years. He has published books on Jean Vigo, James Joyce, William Blake, orientalism, anarchism, and decadence.

About the Narrator

Graham Halstead, an Earphones Award and Audie Award–winning narrator, is a professionally trained actor and voice artist. As an actor, he has worked internationally in Edinburgh and London, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. His youthful, easy-flowing voice can be heard on television and radio voicing spots for Airborne and Allegra.