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Download Decadence, Degeneration, and the End: Studies in the by Marja Härmänmaa, Christopher Nissen, Jeffrey Walsh PDF

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By Marja Härmänmaa, Christopher Nissen, Jeffrey Walsh

Artwork and literature throughout the eu fin-de-siècle interval frequently manifested issues of degeneration and rot, either one of our bodies and civilizations, in addition to affliction, weird and wonderful sexuality, and basic morbidity. This assortment explores those subject matters with regards to artists and writers as diversified as Oscar Wilde, August Strindberg, and Aubrey Beardsley.

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However, this perspective is also a result of contemporary European historiography that regards Spain as part of the European Union. Spanish writers from the turn of the century used to aspire to some of the political institutions or economic reforms that had become commonplace in other European countries, such as England. In this sense, it is somewhat ironic to include Spain in this retrospective version of events. Even more troublesome is the fact that the desire to see Spain as part of Europe, conjoined to an ambivalent attitude on the part of modern critics toward the former Spanish colonies on American soil, can lead to a denial of the crucial role that some Latin American authors played in Spain at the end of the nineteenth century.

Here “conversation among articulate Victorians about solar physics and the prospects for life on earth in a cooling solar system worked, as half formulated anxieties will, to generate much imaginative thought and production” (Beer 1996, 225). Furthermore, To most intelligent Victorian readers physics could become intelligible only in a popular conceptual form. Moreover, the absence of a formal scientific education meant that scientific ideas tended to be received by non-scientific Victorians in the mode of dreads and dreams as well 26 MASON TATTERSALL as intellectual conundrums.

Interesting enough, these statements share a belief in the relation between ethics and aesthetics. Reinterpreting Darwinian theories, specifically in the case of Rodó, critics like Maarten Van Delden talk about the “survival of the prettiest”19 in order to define the construct of intellectuals in this period. The ethics involved in these constructions has also been debated. In the case of Costa, Carlos Serrano and Jacques Maurice have questioned who determines the common good, and Jorge Gonzalez Rodríguez wonders about the capacity leaders had to represent interests different from their own.

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