Patricia Rigg awarded SSHRC Grant
“The Anglo-French Literary Community of the Fin-de-Siècle: Sexual Diversity, Neurasthenia, and the Genius of Italian Poetic Forms in a Transitional Society.”
The grant amount is $67,266 over 4 years.
As the Fin-de-Siècle approached, poets expressed not only the anxiety associated with change but also the pessimism and the uncertainty of a revisionist period that seemed not to have defined goals. British Aestheticism and Decadence finds its roots, I suggest, in Charles Baudelaire’s mid-century Les Fleurs du Mal. This project focuses on the specific literary genre that links England and France in poetic responses to Baudelaire within the context of Aestheticism and Decadence—the sonnet sequence of the second half of the nineteenth century, in which we see competing narratives of a diseased Victorian culture struggling to make the transition to new standards of sexual morality, marital fidelity, and creative expression. This hybrid poetic genre that combines lyric and narrative became the poetry of ideas and this book will integrate these threads into the first comprehensive study of late nineteenth-century sonnet sequences.