Landscapes Of Decadence by Murray Alex
The challenges posed by Decadence to Victorian moral conventions - particularly sexual - have been well documented but this book makes the case for understanding Decadence as a response to the ways in which place was accorded moral value in the period. The book uses landscape as a key trope for exploring Decadent writing's approach to location and identity. Drawing on a wide range of fin-de-siecle literature organised around a series of locations from Naples to New York Murray argues that Decadent writers developed a form of landscape and place-based writing using a series of stylistic features to challenge the increasing homogenisation of both place and literary culture. Decadence and the literature of the fin de siecle are re-framed as a politically-engaged form of landscape writing. This is an ambitious and richly researched study.