Le Luxe et l'horreur. Sur quelques objets précieux de la littérature fin de siècle

Due to sociological and æsthetical factors, the description of precious bibelots and trifles becomes a recurrent motif in decadent and symbolist novels. But behind their seductive appearance, these objects often conceal a mortal content – hence their designation in this paper as objets doubles. Through their moral content, these objects carry a criticism of late nineteenth-century expansionist capitalism and, specifically, of the belief that wealth can give meaning and order to reality. They also function as synecdoches of fin-de-siècle literature itself, marked by a simultaneous fascination with luxury and evil. (In French) (GS)
Volume 2000-2001 Fall-Winter; 29(1-2): 138-53