Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where Are the Novels That Ooze Rococo?

In an era of international economic uncertainty, you’d think the novels we love would be rich and decadent. Instead, they are Spartan in spirit and nature. In the Guardian book blog, John Lucas phrases it all succinctly -- almost decandently, really. It’s too bad not all of what he writes holds water.
“What has happened to the great tradition of the decadent novel?” Lee Brackstone asks in a recent blog for Faber, bemoaning the dominance of realism and naturalism in contemporary fiction. Although he finds the decadent spirit alive and well in DBC Pierre’s Lights Out in Wonderland, his question still holds: Pierre aside, can it really be that the grand heritage of the fin de siecle writers has been so short-lived, especially when their arch, satirical mode is needed now more than ever?
So is literary decadence dead? We don’t think so. What about you?


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