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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

(p.33) 2 Shame and melancholia
Deco Dandy

John Potvin

Manchester University Press

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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