The Decadent.

Sam Pawlett epawlett at
Mon Dec 14 19:20:12 PST 1998

All the great artists and philosophers are dead. There are no more Shoenberg's, Wittgensteins, Musils or even a Keynes.Instead we have RuPaul, Frank Stallone, Robert Lucas and Marilyn Manson.The respected journals of opinion like the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Review of Books are full of boring rumination on third rate poets like Robert Bly or endless intellectual tail chasing on artists past. Nobody listens to classical music anymore or even jazz. Radio stations dedicated to jazz and classical music and serious public affairs programming are few. John Coltrane is called the last great innovator. Concert halls are half empty. What we have in abundance today is decadence.Can decadence function as a form of class struggle as the decadent poets Baudalaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud thought and practiced? Or does the decadent reflect the complete collapse of human civilization leading to a prison of nihilism and despair with little hope of redemption as Adorno thought?

Sam Pawlett

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