The Deliquescence of Décadence Floupette's Eclectic Target

The term décadence has been abused in regard to its viability as a discrete literary phenomenon. This study proposes to analyze this critical failure to define the term, first by considering some general pitfalls inherent in the very process of definition and then, more specifically, by examining a little-known, but significant collection of poems (Les Déliquescences d'Adoré Floupette), whose parodies of "Decadent" poems ultimately give the reader an at-best-confused notion of its sighted targets (as a result of elements such as unlimited scope of targets, confusion of the terms décadent and symboliste, and atylistic eclecticism). Because this collection has been perceived as a model of "Decadent," albeit parodied style, its failure, upon close examination, to reflect this style may well convince the reader of the inevitable futility of employing décadence as a strictly literary term. (RLM)

Mitchell, Robert L
Volume 1981 Spring-Summer; 9(3-4); 247-56.