dandyism A-Z

“A” is for “Alex from A Clockwork Orange” This is the hyper-mediated dandy whose boredom leads only to vice in the form of sadism and violence.

“B” is for “Baudelaire” He is the epitome of what it means to be a dandy: a marvelous poet, editor of fashion magazines – the kind of dandy who wilts like a rare flower when you put him anywhere near fresh water.

“C” is for “Christ” It almost goes without saying that Christ was one of the prototype dandies – he surely suffered for fashion and fashion alone; his wounds pave the way for all the fake mutilations of our own age.

“D” is for “Dickens (or Dostoevsky)” Dickens was the British dandy before it was really popular to be British (Dostoevsky hated work, was educated enough to hate work, and secretly, or, not so secretly put himself through hell to avoid working).

“E” is for “Epicurus” Foremost philosopher, pre-Sade, of the Epicurean philosophy – a philosophy dedicated solely to the pursuit and attainment of pleasures.

“F” is for “French Revolution” It would take too long to mention all the figures who played a prominent role – the event itself is worth mentioning: they were burning effigies of “NOTHING.”

“G” is for “Galactus” Even though he is a fictional character from the Marvel universe of comics, the guy eats entire planets when he gets hungry. He is so incredibly lazy that he creates powerful beings, like the Silver Surfer, to prepare the planet for his consumption by wiping out the life on it first. He is the excessive dandy par excellence.

“H” is for “Hemingway” Although I personally consider him to be too active, his writing has influenced a generation of journalists from the common news journalist to the obscuro-bizarre gonzo journalist.

“I” is for “Incest” Dandies who lack a (post) Oedipal complex turn out to be like Norman Bates, from “Psycho.” See “N is for Norman Bates.”

“J” is for “Joyce” Whom is probably still the greatest novelist, filthiest neurotic, and pseudo-pervert who wrote in the English language. (Excepting myself, of course.)

“K” is for “Kierkegaard” The guy who could have actually had “everything” but preferred not to; he committed the perfect act of sacrifice and turned the woman he loved into a sacred object. And still lived and smiled in the immanence of her frequent presence at the opera – the presence that he sacrificed.

“L” is for “Limpid” Dictionary definition: limpid |ˈlimpid| adjective (of a liquid) free of anything that darkens; completely clear. • (of a person’s eyes) unclouded; clear. • (esp. of writing or music) clear and accessible or melodious : the limpid notes of a recorder. DERIVATIVES limpidity |limˈpidətē| noun limpidly adverb ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin limpidus; perhaps related to lymph .

“M” is for “Masoch” The novel “Venus in Furs” is one of the elements of our symbolic order – for sure. In it one finds all kinds of treasures: absolute fetishes, the presence – or absence – of which makes life worth living. Or not.

“N” is for “Norman Bates” Is the kind of dandy you usually want to avoid for the following reasons, in addition to the statement found in “I is for Incest:” It’s not that he doesn’t have a complex – it’s that he has resolved it by internalizing the Oedipal triangle: he is at once the lower-mother, higher-mother, and child-mother. This is evident in the structure of the house that he lives inside of. One does not “resolve” a symptom by absorbing its external signs, rather, one externalizes the already external – adding to the distance between the already internal dialectic between I / Other (this process is known as Production, the opposite is Seduction).

“O” is for “The Story of O” It’s about the perfect relationship; written by a woman for that special guy.

“P” is for “Poe” Despite numerous problems, including being virtually unrecognized in his own time (except for a curious volume about sea shells), he remains one of the heavyweight dandies that still obsesses the French.

“Q” is for “Queer” Not, as in, “Gay” – but as in “Odd,” “Peculiar,” “Uncanny,” etc. The word “Queer” should be restored to its former glory, not dressed up like some metro-sexual Southpark dad being controlled by crab people.

“R” is for “Roland Barthes” Despite being homosexual – he is also quite the dandy. He enjoys walking, the Eiffel Tower, and the works of Sade, Fourier, and Loyala. Not many do.

“S” is for “Swann, Charles” The ‘main’ character of Proust’s masterpiece; the one who structures the narrator’s desire for and pursuit of Love. Extremely Good Taste: Very Dangerous.

“T” is for “Truman Capote” Is the kind of dandy who is so fascinated by the real because he can clothe it in an interpretive fiction. These ones do not believe in aesthetic judgment; instead they believe that everything is just waiting for their words to wrap around them. Like monster-tentacles and naked orifices in Japanese Hentai films.

“U” is for “Ulysses” This counts as a reference to both Joyce’s novel, and Homer’s Odysseus and Odyssey. The guy is a wanderer, which pretty much is your occupation as a dandy: you do wander down and up, you end up whatever road life leads you down. Encore!

“V” is for “Valmont” Is the dandy whose evil is art, art evil. If the evil is not perfect in the form of art, he wants nothing to do with it.

“W” is for “Werther” He marks the shift from the attitude, in love, of “If I can’t have you, nobody can” to “If I can’t have you, then I don’t even want to live … therefore you must be somebody else’s.”

“X” is for “Xerox” Alas! the age of “degree Xerox” has produced the worst kind of dandy: the copy of the copy. You’ll find these poor souls at an event like “warped tour” with their “cool rock and roll haircuts / cool rock and roll bullet belts.” The goth, punk, and hipster all fall into Xerox level dandyism.

“Y” is for “You” If you are still even reading this.

“Z” is for “Zizek” Just because of the way he manages to make high theory a little less excruciating than it normally needs to be to feel edifying.


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