Thursday, 13 October 2011

A definition of decadence

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To be so addicted to novelty, comfort and prosperity that one cannot lift a finger to sustain them.

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8 comments:

dearieme said...

Rather good but perhaps understated?

To be so addicted to novelty, comfort and prosperity that one's actions cannot but undermine them.

The Crow said...

Another definition of decadence:
To be unable to experience anything that one describes.

It is cold, dark and raining, this morning, but the light is on, and I am warm and dry. I am not the cold, not the warmth, nor the dark, nor the light, nor the rain.
I should go outside and feed the birds...

The Continental Op said...

Decadence: an excess of success and prosperity and ease, softening and rottening a man's hard inner core.

bgc said...

Or:

Decadence: an excessive preoccupation with the subject of decadence.

?

dearieme said...

No: I don't think the recursive one holds water. Have you any evidence that the decadent even know that they are decadent, never mind obsess about it?

Daniel said...

That last makes me smile, Bruce.

bgc said...

@dearieme -

Fair point.

I was partly thinking of something like the Weimar Republic as depicted in the movie Cabaret, or the explicit decadence of the late 19th century.

In my life I have certainly been in situations in which the mood seemed to be a deliberate cultivation and enjoyment of decadence.

Thursday said...

Decadence: an excessive preoccupation with the subject of decadence.

There is a line from Rimbaud, who knew a thing or two about modernity: the diagnosis is part of the disease.