Henry James’s Impressionistic Satire of the Decadent Movement in the Yellow Book
Abstract

Abstract:

This essay discusses the stories Henry James published in the Yellow Book--self-styled organ of the Decadent Movement--in 1894 and 1895: “The Death of the Lion,” “The Coxon Fund,” and “The Next Time.” It is premised on the fact that these stories have been largely left out of discussions regarding James’s troubled relationship with Aestheticism and Decadence. In illustrating how James satirizes the cosmopolitan affectations of Decadence, its exploitation of earlier “art for art’s sake” writers (including himself), and its commercialism within the stories themselves, the essay aims to illuminate James’s changing conception of “art for art’s sake” and the popular movements that purported to have this principle at their core.