CFP: Dickens and Decadence, 17-18 Dec 2020

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Dickens and Decadence

Stockholm University, Sweden

Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2020

Department of English and Department of Culture and Aesthetics

Stockholm University

17-18 December 2020

Conference Homepage:

Keynote speakers: John Bowen (York), Dennis Denisoff (Tulsa) and Claire Wood (Leicester)

In chapter nine of Joris-Karl Huysmans’ À rebours (1884), the protagonist des Esseintes determines to alleviate his ennui by traveling to London, inspired by his reading of Dickens. But stopping off en route in Paris, des Esseintes finds himself already lost in the Dickensian text, reading the city through his novels and transforming the French capital into a simulacrum of London. Huysmans’ novel, that ‘breviary of decadence’ to use Symons’ famous phrase, takes Dickens as being central to the concerns of the realist tradition of nineteenth-century literature, and a response to him central to the concerns of the decadent tradition which would problematise this realism.

Des Esseintes’ aborted journey…

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