Lovecraft’s Debt to Dandyism
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In taking Lovecraft’s biography as a starting point to an analysis of his notion of ideal masculinity, Ralickas offers a seminal analysis of a critical aspect of the abjection of self that undercuts any form of idealism in his fiction: the clean and proper body of the gentleman writer. To be specific, the strength of Lovecraft’s affinity towards Dandyism as a specific mode of masculinity extends beyond his personal aspirations to include his critical and aesthetic perspectives, manifest in his fiction, correspondence, and literary essays, particularly Supernatural Horror in Literature, wherein he reveals his fascination with leading Dandy authors of the nineteenth century. Through an examination of literary Dandyism’s ideological biases and the specific form of irony inherent in the Dandiacal works known to Lovecraft, Ralickas builds on scholarship linking Lovecraft to the Decadents by uncovering their influence on his deportment, political views, and fiction.