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Deco DandyDesigning Masculinity in 1920s Paris$
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John Potvin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134790

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134806

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Shame and melancholia

Shame and melancholia

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 Shame and melancholia
Source:
Deco Dandy
Author(s):

John Potvin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526134806.00007

This chapter singles out the queer, melancholic representations of the dandy that expressionist painter Nils Dardel (1888–1943) produced. To focus on Dardel’s dandy is to explore how a languid, ephebic, brightly attired deco dandy served as a site of pleasure and desire as much as a gendered performance of melancholia that in turn uncovers cultural needs for and national anxieties centred around reintegration and aggregation. This chapter attempts two distinct and seemingly unrelated goals: the first is to examine Dardel’s melancholic representations of the dandy to analyse the figure’s psycho-sexual characterisation; the second is to move forward in time to explore the lengthy processes of de-sexualisation, national canonisation and historiographical repetition and assimilation that have taken place since the painter’s death.

Keywords:   painting, Nils Dardel, Sweden, expressionism, homosexuality, queer theory, shame, melancholia, gender

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