In Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence, Kristin Mahoney argues that the early twentieth century was a period in which the specters of the fin de siecle exercised a remarkable draw on the modern cultural imagination and troubled emergent avant-gardistes. These authors and artists refused to assimilate to the aesthetic and political ethos of the era, representing themselves instead as time travellers from the previous century for whom twentieth-century modernity was both baffling and disappointing. However, they did not turn entirely from the modern moment, but rather relied on decadent strategies to participate in conversations concerning the most highly vexed issues of the period including war, the rise of the Labour Party, the question of women's sexual freedom, and changing conceptions of sexual and gender identities.
Kristin Mahoney is Associate Professor of English at Western Washington University. She is the editor of a scholarly edition of Baron Corvo's Hubert's Arthur, and her articles have appeared in such journals as Victorian Studies, Criticism, English Literature in Transition, and the Victorian Periodicals Review. Mahoney has been the recipient of fellowships from Yale University's Paul Mellon Centre, the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center, UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and the University of Delaware/Delaware Art Museum. She is also the vice president of the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States and a member of the executive board of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada.
1. 'Queer indifference': Max Beerbohm, post-Victorian decadence, and camp nostalgia; 2. Pacifism and post-Victorian decadence: Vernon Lee at the margins of the twentieth century; 3. Towards aristocracy: Baron Corvo and the Corvine society; 4. Irish decadence, occultism, and sacrificial myth: the martyrdom of Althea Gyles; 5. Crusading decadent: Beresford Egan, global dandyism, and post-Victorian decadent feminism.