Decadent Prose: the Example of Salammbô

It has long been recognized that Flaubert's title character in Salammbô (1862) was a prototype of a recurring Decadent female persona who as an animated art object moves somnambulistically through her destructive social role. But for the criticism of Arthur Symons it might be forgotten that Flaubert's style in this novel established a model for exotic prose. A pronounced cadence, an erudite lexicon, and above all, a painterly attention to visual details and effects made Flaubert here a Parnassian in prose, a congenial guide for such Decadents as Huysmans and Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. (MGR)

Rose, Marilyn Gaddis
Volume 1975 Spring-Summer; 3(3-4): 213-23.