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Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 28 Sep 2006


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Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu (Penguin Classics) + Daughters Of Decadence: Women Writers of the Fin-de-Siecle
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (28 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014042413X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140424133
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lisa Rodensky is Assistant Professor of English at Wellesley College, and author of The Crime in Mind (OUP, 2003).

Lisa Rodensky is Assistant Professor of English at Wellesley College, and author of The Crime in Mind (OUP, 2003).


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
To that gaunt House of Art which lacks for naught Of all the great things men have saved from Time, The withered body of a girl was brought Dead ere the world's glad youth had touched its prime, And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid In the dim womb of some black pyramid. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Jacobs VINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2009
Upon seeing the other review for this book, I felt I had to jump to its defence and give a more balanced picture.

I bought this book while studying Decadence and Aestheticism at university and found it rather useful. The only other anthology along these lines I can think of is Beckson's 'Aesthetes and Decadents of the 1890s', but - as usual - this Penguin Classics volume offers illustrates the spectrum of poetry from the movement with a wide range of examples, featuring household names like Wilde and Dowson as well as some of the slightly more obscure poets such as Naidu, Henley and de Tabley.

For studying the Decadent movement, this is a great resource. It could be said that the sole focus on poetry prevents the anthology from serving as a full explanation and compendium of Decadence, as the prose efforts of Symons, Beerbohm, Wilde, Le Gallienne, Pater and many others, are useful in gaining a full understanding of the movement. But at the same time, if you're familiar enough with the prose side of things, it's tremendously useful to have this thoroughly extensive collection of verse. What I particularly like in this volume is the small selection of parodies of Decadent verse in the last few dozen pages, which gives an important balance to the collection and reminds readers that Decadence was as much defined by the anti-Decadent sentiments which coexisted at the time.

In terms of reading for pleasure, this book is something which can only be dipped into, as is often the case with poetry anthologies. It is true that much of the imagery, with shared motifs amongst different poets (and even recurrent throughout several poems of any given poet), which can induce boredom and disillusionment after a while.
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By John Peate on 15 Feb. 2015
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Very satisfied with the service and the book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rose on 19 Feb. 2012
The product came quickly and I had no problems at all. The book is in great shape and I got it for much cheaper than the book store. Thanks!
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kirstan Ronald on 16 Nov. 2009
I was really interested in exploring English decadent poetry but after reading this collection, I could completely relate to the Chinua Achebe statement that 'art for arts sake was nothing more than deodorised dogs--t'.
It was hard to find these poems interesting. Even the Oscar Wilde ones didnt grip me at all and made me question Oscar Wilde's brilliance in writing.
I just found the poems self-indulgent, pretentious, lacking in substance and the countless referencing to various flowers, particularly roses and asphodels is countless and in more than one poem, which ever writer it is, which makes you doubt the originality of each writer. I get the feeling this was a very weak decade in art and a cheap mimic of the French Decadence (baudelaire, huysmans, etc.), who I believe capture the true essence of decadence in its twisted representation of beauty and objects.
Sorry but don't think the brits do it as well. Apart from 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' I'd stick to the French, they do it best!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
First-rate edition 30 May 2008
By Wanda B. Red - Published on Amazon.com
This book effectively defines the tradition of decadent poetry. The poems themselves, by such writers as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats and Aubrey Beardsley, are fascinating (and impeccably edited). The editor's biographies at the book's end are also both remarkably illuminating and also engagingly written. Like many Penguin editions, an excellent value. Highly recommended.
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