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The Lyric Poem and AestheticismForms of Modernity$
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Marion Thain

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415668

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415668.001.0001

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Arthur Symons and Decadent Lyric Phenomenology

Arthur Symons and Decadent Lyric Phenomenology

(p.130) Chapter 6 Arthur Symons and Decadent Lyric Phenomenology
The Lyric Poem and Aestheticism

Marion Thain

Edinburgh University Press

The first case study to implement this way of reading takes Decadent poetry as its subject matter, with a particular focus on Arthur Symons (although with significant analysis also of Ernest Dowson, and reference to other Decadents including Lionel Johnson). It argues for a phenomenology of poetic form, made possible by the strict, regular, forms favoured by the aesthetes; and for a new mode of lyric encounter emerging from this. Comparing this with idealist and impressionist modes, it argues that this poetry ‘made for the eye’ was often made for an distinctly embodied eye—and that the Victorian association between the book and the body offered new possibilities for lyric when combined with a Decadent erotics.

Keywords:   Arthur Symons, Jonathan Crary, Bernard Berenson, Vernon Lee, Impressionism, Phenomenology, Ernest Dowson

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