A Peculiar Man? The dandyism of George Moore

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Presentation delivered at the 5th International George Moore Conference in Galway, Ireland, 2011

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A Peculiar Man? The dandyism of George Moore

  1. 1. A PECULIAR MAN? THE DANDYISM OF GEORGE MOORE5th International George Moore Conference NUI Galway, Moore Hall, Mayo, Coole Park, Galway: June 3-6 2011 Dr. Melanie Grundmann
  2. 2. WHAT IS A DANDY?
  3. 3. WHAT IS A DANDY? impertinence nonconformity ennui egotism wit aestheticism vanity oppositional sarcasm ambiguous behaviorestrangement sexuality fashionable dilettantism appearance
  4. 4. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  5. 5. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYJ.-A. Barbey d‘Aurevilly: „Of Dandyismand Of George Brummell“ (1845)Charles Baudelaire: „The dandy“ (1863)
  6. 6. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYS Barbeyd‘Aurevilly
  7. 7. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYS CharlesBaudelaire
  8. 8. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYS Robert deMontesquiou
  9. 9. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYSEugène Sue
  10. 10. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYSThéophile Gautier
  11. 11. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYSOscarWilde
  12. 12. ÉCRIVAIN-DANDYSStendhal
  13. 13. GEORGE MOORE, A DANDY?
  14. 14. MANET ON MOORE „somewhat eccentricappearance“
  15. 15. SUSAN MITCHELL ON MOORE „man of fashion“
  16. 16. NANCY CUNARD ON MOORE„smartly dressed: atop hat, a white or grey waistcoat, a pair of dove-coloured gloves in one hand“
  17. 17. „quiet, well-cut if sometimes rather crumpled, darkish and of goodquality. Often, to be sure, he had a rich silk tie on, and sometimes a very high, very stiff white collar.Above all, what a personality there was in those slow-moving, critical,appraising hands, often in long, soft shirt-cuffs done up so tightly.“
  18. 18. GEORGE BRYAN ,BEAU‘ BRUMMELL (1778-1840)
  19. 19. „quiet, well-cut if sometimes rather crumpled, darkish and of goodquality. Often, to be sure, he had a rich silk tie on, and sometimes a very high, very stiff white collar. Above all, what apersonality there was in those slow- moving, critical, appraising hands,often in long, soft shirt-cuffs done up so tightly.“
  20. 20. THE HIGH ART OF TYING A TIE
  21. 21. „quiet, well-cut if sometimes rather crumpled, darkish and of goodquality. Often, to be sure, he had a rich silk tie on, and sometimes a very high, very stiff white collar. Above all, what a personality there was in those slow-moving, critical, appraising hands, often in long, soft shirt-cuffs done up so tightly.“
  22. 22. BAUDELAIRE ON DANDYISM „Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.“
  23. 23. „hours were spent at the tailorsconsidering different patterns; at the hosies turning over scarves, neckties and shirts of manydescriptions, frilled and plain [...]to be ridiculous has always been mon petite luxe.“ George Moore
  24. 24. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  25. 25. NANCY CUNARD ON MOORE „no one spoke at all like him, no one else‘s mindworked like his inall its paradoxical, individual Irish brilliance“
  26. 26. NANCY CUNARD ON MOORE„whatever he told,he told with style“
  27. 27. ELOQUENCE & WIT„if there were nobody to shock, our trade wouldcome to an end.“ the dandy‘s doctrine is „the pleasure of causing surprise in others, and the proud satisfaction of never showing any oneself.“
  28. 28. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  29. 29. AMBIGUOUS SEXUALITY“Woman is the opposite of the dandy“ artificial celibacy suicide spiritual self-control
  30. 30. AMBIGUOUS SEXUALITY„(dandyism is) a kind of cult of the ego which can still survive the pursuit of that form ofhappiness to be found in others, in woman for example; whichcan even survive what are called illusions.“
  31. 31. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  32. 32. AESTHETICISM„The work of the great artist is himself.“ Dandies „have no other status but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons.“
  33. 33. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  34. 34. ESTRANGEMENT„they all share the same characteristic of opposition and revolt; all are representatives of what is best in human pride, of that need, which istoo rare in the modern generation, to combat and destroy triviality.“
  35. 35. ESTRANGEMENT Baudelaire‘s view on dandyism as „the idea of establishing a new kind of aristocracy, all the more difficult to break down because established on the mostprecious, the most indestructible faculties, onthe divine gifts that neither work nor money can give. Dandyism is the last flicker of heroism in decadent ages.“
  36. 36. ESTRANGEMENT „But alas! the rising tide of democracy, which spreads „the snob is now the ark everywhere and reduces that floats triumphant over everything to the same level, the democratic wave; the is daily carrying away these faith of the old world last champions of humanreposes in his breast, and he pride, and submerging, in shall proclaim it when the the waters of oblivion, the waters have subsided.“ last traces of these remarkable myrmidons.“
  37. 37. ESTRANGEMENT„Here in France, dandies are becoming rarerand rarer, whereas amongst our neighbours in England the state of society and theconstitution [...] will, for a long time yet, leave room for the heirs of Sheridan, Brummelland Byron, always assuming that men worthy of them come forward.“
  38. 38. GEORGE MOORE AS A DANDYELOQUENCE & WITAMBIGUOUS SEXUALITYAESTHETICISMESTRANGEMENTOPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR
  39. 39. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „It is, above all, the burning desire to create a personal formof originality, within the external limits of social conventions.“
  40. 40. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „The point has already been made, but we will not tire ofrepeating it: the thing that reallymakes a dandy is independence.“
  41. 41. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR„one of the consequences of Dandyism, one of its principal characteristics - or rather its character in more general terms - is always to produce theunexpected. For this the mind that toils under the yoke of logical rules is unprepared.“
  42. 42. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „Dandyism plays games with the rules while continuing to respect them. Itsuffers from their constricting effects and takes its revenge, tolerating them all the while. It invokes them even as it breaks free from them. It governs them and is governed by them in its turn.“
  43. 43. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „Nothing attracts me more than an independent mind.“
  44. 44. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „my thoughts do not move among commonplaces.“
  45. 45. OPPOSITIONAL BEHAVIOUR „I was born, I live, I shall die a peculiar man. I couldn‘t be commonplace were I to try.“
  46. 46. Thank you!www.dandysme.eu

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