Abstract

While male same-sex desire was decriminalized in France after the 1789 Revolution, the specter of deviant sexuality haunted France throughout the nineteenth century. In the beginning of the century male same-sex desire seemed to only harass the shadows of parks, arcades, and dimly lit colonnades. The fin-de-siècle period, however, saw the exponential growth of a more public discourse on deviant sexuality. Directly related to this discourse and to deviant sexuality was the emergent social type found both in print and in the social sphere: the dandy. One of the rising stars of social and literary dandyism in the fin-de-siècle period was Jean Lorrain. This article will discuss the representation of the dandy as specter and spectacle in fin-de-siècle ideology through an analysis of Lorrain’s Monsieur de Bougrelon and Monsieur de Phocas.

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