Idols of Perversity has ratings and 42 reviews. Bram Dijkstra collected this art and put it in a book with the widest margins I have ever seen. He has a lot of. Buy Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-siecle Culture New Ed by Bram Dijkstra ( ISBN. Buy Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture ( Oxford Paperbacks) by Dijkstra, Bram (September 1, ) Paperback New Ed by.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Idols of Perversity by Bram Dijkstra. At the turn of the century, an unprecedented attack on women erupted in virtually every aspect of culture: Throughout Europe and America, artists and intellectuals banded together to portray women as perversiyy and unindividuated beings who functioned solely in a sexual and reproductive capacity, thus formulating many of the ant Bgam the turn of the century, an unprecedented attack on women erupted in virtually every aspect of culture: Throughout Europe and America, artists and intellectuals banded together to portray women as static and unindividuated beings who functioned solely in a sexual and reproductive capacity, thus formulating many of the anti-feminine platitudes that today still constrain women’s potential.

Bram Dijkstra’s Idols of Perversity explores the nature and development of turn-of-the-century misogyny in the works of hundreds of writers, artists, and scientists, including Zola, Strindberg, Wedekind, Henry James, Rossetti, Renoir, Moreau, Klimt, Darwin, and Spencer.

Dijkstra demonstrates that idops most prejudicial aspects of Evolutionary Theory helped to justify this wave of anti-feminine sentiment. The theory claimed that the female of the species could not participate in the great evolutionary process that would guide the intellectual male to his ultimate, predestined role as a disembodied spiritual essence. Darwinists argued that women hindered this process by their willingness to lure men back to a sham paradise of erotic materialism. To protect the male’s continued evolution, artists and intellectuals produced a flood of pseudo-scientific tracts, dikstra, and paintings which warned the world’s males of the evils lying beneath the surface elegance of woman’s tempting skin.

Reproducing hundreds idoks pictures from the period and including in-depth discussions of such key works as Dracula and Perversjty in Furs, this fascinating book not only exposes the perrversity links between misogyny then and now, but also connects it to the racism and anti-semitism that led to catastrophic genocidal delusions in dijksgra first half of the twentieth century.

Crossing the conventional boundaries of art history, sociology, the history of scientific theory, and literary analysis, Dijkstra unveils a startling view idolls a grim and largely one-sided war on women still hram fought today.

Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Idols of Perversityplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Sep 30, Alessandra rated it really liked it Shelves: A survey of misogyny in late-Victorian art. The evidence may be a bit wobbly in places, but the sheer number of appalling examples is extremely telling. One of those important, eye-opening books worth reading, but ugh. Jan 15, Lisa Mason rated it it was amazing.

One of the most mind-blowing treatises on women in society and culture I have ever read. This is scholarly—citations, an extensive bibliography, quotations, and best of all the art. Beautifully and engagingly written, with astute analysis of how money, power, and the striving for personal freedom affected relations between men and women and gay people.

Jun 28, Miriam rated it liked it.

Idols of Perversity

An interesting study, although Dijkstra commits the all-too-common scholarly sin of ignoring masses of evidence that don’t fit his thesis. He also erroneously treats this instantiation as unique, rather than as part of a recurring pattern of shifting attitudes toward women.

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Feb 02, Catherine rated it really liked it Shelves: Often fascinating analysis of depictions of women as symbolic of evil, real and metaphorical. Dijkstra covers art and literature primarily. I found the book quite thought-provoking when I read it a few years pefversity and am still talking about years later. Sep 19, Steve rated it really liked it.

The chief merit of this book is that it collects hundreds of obscure fantasy paintings from the latter half of the nineteenth century. Some of the artists like Klimt and Moreau will be familiar, but for every artist you’ve heard of you’ll meet five you won’t recognize. Unfortunately, the author is only interested in passing moral judgments on the subject matter of these paintings, so all of the illustr The chief merit of this book is that dijjkstra collects hundreds of obscure fantasy paintings from the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Unfortunately, the author is only interested in passing moral perversitt on the subject matter of these paintings, so all of the illustrations are black and white. The author’s dour and sour commentary on these forgotten masterpieces is ironically effective and adds piquancy to the pictures.

It seems that the author’s chief interest in these fascinating images is to judge them and find them wanting under an extremely narrow standard of feminist piety. Like Max Nordau’s Degeneration from a century earlier, Dijkstra’s moralistic commentary mostly serves to whet your interest and make the pictures that much more devilishly fascinating. Taken as a whole, the commentary gets quite monotonous and is floridly overstated. Images of a gaggle of nude children in the water become precursors to the Holocaust: How nightmarish painters’ dreams of infantile flesh could ultimately become is graphically demonstrated in Leon Frederic’s monumental triptych ‘The Stream’, in which this artist, ostensibly to illustrate Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ symphony, created with insane literalness the ultimate representation of the familiar equation between water, women, and the world of the child in a carnal orgy of infant flesh.

When images of this sort, of this extreme paranoia, arise in man’s imagination, can Buchenwald be far behind? It’s mostly more of the same throughout the book.

Just a few paragraphs are enough to iodls you an accurate impression of the whole. In the company of an interesting picture, though, Dijkstra’s text adds some value and often rises to the heights of low comedy.

This isn’t a book for reading; it’s a book for looking at the pictures. Jul 06, Marsha Altman rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book is insane. Pf you see it in a discount bin, totally pick it up and attempt to read it.

Idols of Perversity – Bram Dijkstra – Oxford University Press

From what I can gather, various intellectual circles at the 19th century in continental Europe didn’t care too much for women and used theories from the early eugenics movement to justify for their misogyny. Then they made a lot of art, some of now surprisingly popular classic art.

Bram Dijkstra collected this art and put it in a book with the widest margins I have ever seen. He has a lot of theories This book is insane.

He has a lot of theories, some of them relatively sane but some occasionally crazy, as to why the artists drew women the way that they did. There are tons of pictures of named women lying around in fields, sleeping in a pile of leaves, which if you are a woman will drive you mad because none of us would ever do that – there are things called bugs and other things not to expose yourself to no more comfortable that flowerbed looks. Apparently it all ties into the prevailing theories of the day, which was that women were lazy, terrible and basically the opposite of guys.

Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture by Bram Dijkstra

The writings of these artists contributed to the eugenics movement that eventually led to Nazi Germany, so that’s interesting to think about. My recommendation is to skim a lot of it, especially of the author’s talking about intellectuals from, say, France from that you’ve never heard of idole have no way of finding out more about.

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But he does have interesting things to say about the art, much of which is fascinating and beautiful. They’re not showing a whole lot, but they are naked. Nov 29, Macie rated it it was amazing. This is an ambitious book, one of the most well-researched I’ve encountered, that very methodically lays out the snowball effect that stereotypes about women created in fin-de-siecle culture.

While visual art plays dijksrta starring role, literature, philosophy, and scientific theories are each analyzed in turn. It’s not perfect; the author sometimes overreaches, gets repetitive I never want to read the phrase “nymph with a broken back” againand occasionally goes on tangents that made no sense at This is an ambitious book, one of the most well-researched I’ve encountered, that very methodically lays out the snowball effect that stereotypes about women created in fin-de-siecle culture.

It’s not perfect; the author sometimes overreaches, gets repetitive I perverslty want to read the phrase “nymph with a broken back” againand occasionally goes on tangents that made no sense at all to me in the context of the book.

I had to read this in pieces because I got so angry about how women were portrayed, and about how those Victorian-era ideas became archetypes in contemporary culture watching an episode of Sex and the City is all that is needed to verify this. Rather than try to connect these ideas to modern culture, however, the author uses them to make the case that these dehumanizing ideas established the base for the Nazi regime.

It’s a fascinating read. Aug 28, Marley rated it it was amazing. A friend idpls mine found this in the remainder stack and got it realy cheap and sent it to me We both love the Pr-Raphaelites. The language is a bit brxm and the casual reader needs to know a bit of art history, but the plethora of pictures makes up for dijkatra. I recommend this book not only for those who enjoy art, but for historians, to.

How depressing to learn your favorite art is woman-hating. Really, though, this is A friend of mine found this in the remainder stack and got it realy cheap and sent it to me We both love the Pr-Raphaelites. Really, though, this is a tour-de-force.

May 31, Kate rated it liked it Shelves: A very interesting timeline of sociocultural changes in attitude toward women in the West–primarily Europe, with some U. Dijkstra takes a pretty strong anti-men tone in some places, to the point that I’d almost say it kills the message–except the message is so meticulously and repetitively do A very interesting timeline of sociocultural changes in attitude toward women in the West–primarily Europe, with some U.

Dijkstra takes a pretty strong anti-men tone in some places, to the point that I’d almost say it kills the message–except the message is so meticulously and repetitively documented that it’s pretty well unkillable. Still caused raised eyebrows a few times, though. Nov 24, Kira Barnes rated it did not like it.

Buy this book only for the beautiful pictures.

Idols of Perversity : Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture

This man doesn’t know what he’s talking about and pretends to be a feminist. Well, I as a woman am insulted by what he says about some of my favorite artists ever. I think I read this book about 25 years ago. My opinion still stands.

If you like this book I will hunt you down and hit you with a wet noodle. View all 3 comments. Jun 22, Wendy Buonaventura rated it it was amazing. This book charts ways in which women, notably in the Victorian era, were viewed as naturally sick and physically badly designed, and how Western art and literature reflected this in its portrayal of the female sex.

A fascinating book, well researched and food for thought. Feb 17, Carolyne rated it it was amazing Shelves: