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The Decadent ImageThe Poetry of Wilde, Symons, and Dowson$
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Kostas Boyiopoulos

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690923

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Bianca’s Body

Bianca’s Body

Nerves and the Flâneurie of Flesh

Chapter:
(p.104) Chapter 5 Bianca’s Body
Source:
The Decadent Image
Author(s):

Kostas Boyiopoulos

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690923.003.0005

With a closer attention to London Nights, chapter 5 probes into sexuality, morbidity, and the objectification of the female body. Sexual entanglement and intercourse, the chapter argues, simulates the mazy aspect of the metropolis. The Symonsian speaker follows compulsively his desire through ‘nerves’, a condition that encapsulates his energy, modernity, and malaise. The female body, embodying the contradiction of automaton and mystifying beauty, is like an ambiguous cityscape. On the other hand, the city is also perceived as an eroticised woman. These ideas are carried along in reading the ‘Bianca’ cycle of poems where flesh becomes the ultimate junction of artificiality and sensuality, and the sex act is analysed into a series of medical symptoms.

Keywords:   Arthur Symons, London Nights, nerves, eroticism, flesh, flâneur, city as woman, woman as city, Bianca, morbidity

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