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Thomas Couture : Les Romains de la décadence , 1847

Decadence (from Latin cadere “to fall”, “to sink”, French décadence “decline”, “decay”, via Middle Latin decadentia ) is a concept originally used in the philosophy of history , with which changes in societies and cultures were interpreted and criticized as decline, decline or depravity .

It was first used purposefully in French historiography for the decline of Rome . Criticism of the decadent emancipates itself from traditional religious moralization.

In the history of science, the term decadence for characterizing social development phases has meanwhile been dropped. Only in decadence poetry does the word have a positive meaning; in parlance the derogatory character predominates .

Concept development

Among the monotheistic religions in the Middle Ages the idea of ​​immoral antiquity prevailed . Such condemnations are already laid out in the Latin literature of the late Republic and the Imperial Era. For Christian theology, the Confessiones (397-401) of Augustine of Hippo were a central writing in which the overcoming of Roman culture was propagated. The talk of the decline of culture and morals can also be found in the Islamic sphere of influence, for example in Ibn Chaldun in the 14th century, who took up ideas from Greco-Roman antiquity.

Antiquity has been carefully upgraded since the Renaissance . This appreciation culminated in the French Classic , which, conversely, presented the Roman imperial era as a cultural and power-political model that could not be achieved by the present. The early Enlightenment since the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes (1687-94) then tried to free the present from this subordinate role and to subordinate antiquity to it, but without again getting into the rhetoric of the victory of Christianity over paganism. - Edward Gibbon then even made Christianity responsible for the decline of late Rome.

As a further stage of conceptual development, which also took place in France and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's essay Discourse on les Sciences et les Arts peaked (1750), which is now the highlight of which was civilization present in force devalued, but now in favor of an original state of nature , the was detached from concrete religious ideas. This concept of decadence assumes that earlier conditions were objectively better or more desirable. The superiority of the critic over decay separates the term as modern from the religiously influenced late medieval and early modern vanitas .

The expression got its formative meaning through Montesquieu and Gibbon, who dealt with the fall of the Roman Empire . Both used the term with a double aim: They viewed décadence (decline) as a historical phenomenon and at the same time assessed their own time.

The word decadence later also referred to a literary movement that was initiated by Baudelaire ( The Flowers of Evil ) and Verlaine and is characterized on the one hand by a bohemian, negative relationship to the “bourgeois world”, on the other hand by exoticism , intoxication and increased sensitivity.

Decadence in the history of philosophy and literature


The French term decadence was introduced as an aesthetic term in Nicolas Boileau's Réflections critiques sur quelques passages du Rhéteur Longin in the 17th century . In addition to its aesthetic significance, its ethical significance can also be recognized, since the decline (décadence) of taste (goût) was for some critics an essential moment in the dissolution of culture . Thus the development of art and the question of the primacy of ancient or modern poetry were hotly debated in the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes . Boileau referred to the goût to criticize the present and demonstrate the timeless value of the ancient norm of taste, while opponents critically questioned the authority of the ancient world .


Montesquieu used the term in his Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence in the first half of the 18th century . He tried to interpret the phenomenon of decadence historically and at the same time apply it critically to the present. He assessed and analyzed the fall of Rome from different perspectives and thereby set himself apart from Machiavelli's view, who had extolled the subjugation of other peoples by a powerful ruler. The expansion of Rome led to exhaustion after Montesquieu, and the constant upswing destroyed precisely the virtues that were necessary for a functioning state. The mediation of a unified "general spirit" (esprit général) is impossible under the influence of conquered cultures, esprit général is falling into disuse and is being replaced by particular interests.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau denounces the decadence of his time.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau used the term decadence in a way that was decisive for its later reception. In his cultural criticism , it stands for the opposition between nature and culture (civilization).

Based on a “longing for nature” based on cultural philosophy , he was critical of cultural achievements and institutions, the renunciation of instincts and ideals of upbringing. He praised the immediate feeling, the "truth of the heart". Man must return to his originality. He interpreted the natural state as one of the original harmony. Had Thomas Hobbes , later like Immanuel Kant , the state of nature described negatively as a vorgesellschaftliche war situation in which the people were left to their instincts and each other like wolves would face - Homo homini lupus - to establish with this model the social contract, as was for Rousseau the original man in harmony with nature. "Take our disastrous progress away from us, take our errors and vices from us, take away our human work, and everything is good." For Rousseau, the natural state of the original goodness or purity of man is an ideal construct and not a historical postulate, so it does not work naive-romantic based on the harmony of the indigenous peoples' lives, but rather presents society with an ideal image to accuse its (decadent) decline.

Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon described the decline of the Roman Empire.

In his most famous work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1789), Edward Gibbon described the gradual dissolution of the Roman Empire from the death of Marcus Aurelius to the fall of the Byzantine Empire . He divided this period into three phases.

  1. In the first period, which lasted until the beginning of the sixth century, the storms of the Goths and the Huns led to the weakening of power in Rome and its disintegration into individual empires .
  2. The second period began with Justinian I , who was able to stabilize the rule of the Roman-Byzantine Empire once again during his reign through wars and skillful foreign policy as well as domestic political measures . This phase, which lasted until the imperial coronation of Charlemagne in 800, was a. a. characterized by the Lombard invasion and Islamic expansion .
  3. In the third phase, the language and customs of Rome finally fell into disrepair, and with the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the imperial idea was finally abandoned.

The leitmotif of Gibbon's entire work is the thought that history has been subject to decline since the 2nd century . Gibbon wanted to describe with his work the "triumph of the culture and religion".

Gibbon's approach was new to the historiography of the time in that it followed the continuity of history over a very long period of time. Also new and surprising was his assessment of Christianity as partly responsible for the decline of culture. Above all from the theological side, chapters of his book were attacked, in which Gibbon referred to the warlike conflicts of Christians with pagans and superstitions , to his religious fanaticism and to the massacres aimed at the eradication of heretical tendencies.

In the more recent research, however, with regard to the late antiquity of gibbons (as well as Montesquieu's) theories are generally refrained from and new, more differentiated explanatory models for the fall of Western Rome and the transformation of the Eastern Empire are developed.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche , thinker and fighter against decadence

Friedrich Nietzsche addressed decadence, especially in his late work, which for him referred to the cultural-philosophical-historical as well as the aesthetic area. He saw history since antiquity - more precisely: since Perikleischen Athens - as a (decadent) development of decline. The weak spirit of the West, oriented towards false, life-negating values, is responsible for the decline . This had set himself a false ideal in the form of Socrates, which Nietzsche sneered as "un-Greek", "ugly", "criminal" and "decadent", and was ruined by the ailing values ​​of Christianity .

A new philosophy should shake off Schopenhauer's pessimism as well as the "slave morality" of Christianity and renew culture and society with this affirmation of life and fate. If the will to power perishes, there will also be a physiological decline, a décadence . This is expressed in an individual as well as social form, so it affects people as well as the epoch and its works of art, which Nietzsche criticized from the perspective of the untimely .

Richard Wagner , for Nietzsche the "artist of decadence"

While in his early work - the birth of tragedy out of the spirit of music and the untimely contemplations - he had still paid homage to Richard Wagner , he increasingly distanced himself, even later rejecting him as the artist of decadence, whose heavy, sickening sounds he the bright , Georges Bizet's life-affirming music from this world with his opera Carmen . “What do I suffer from when I suffer from the fate of music? The fact that the music has been deprived of its world-transfiguring, yas-telling character, that it is décadence music and no longer the flute of Dionysus. " The criticism of Wagner was linked to that of Schopenhauer and the resulting music was interpreted as disease-causing: It was only the philosopher of decadence who gave the artist of decadence himself [...] I'm far from harmlessly watching when this decadent spoils our health - and the music too! Is Wagner human at all? Isn't it more of a disease? He makes everything sick that he touches - he made music sick. He linked his rejection of the “decadent” European civilization to this analysis: How related must Wagner be to the entire European decadence that it does not perceive him as decadent! He belongs to her: he is her protagonist, her greatest name ... Because the fact that one does not defend oneself against him is in itself a sign of decadence.

Nietzsche may thus be seen as a theorist and opponent of decadence, but his work shows the dual meaning of decay and disease : the aesthetic and moral consequences that he denounces on the one hand, and stimulus for his own work on the other.

Fin de siècle

The “decadent” sensitivity described and criticized by Nietzsche was evident at the turn of the century (around 1890–1914) in the works of Rainer Maria Rilke , Arthur Schnitzler , Thomas Mann and in the early work of Hugo von Hofmannsthal , who later distanced himself from them.

Gautier and Baudelaire had upgraded Décadence to an independent artistic position. The line of development understood in this way set itself apart from the negative assessment of the cultural criticism of Montesquieu, Rousseau and Nietzsche. In the attitude taken by different authors, the term now referred to an anti-bourgeois revolt against the boredom of the age, understood as mal du siècle . This attitude was characterized by overexcited, extravagant sensuality, lust for doom and a postulated, amoral relationship between Eros and Thanatos .

Thomas Mann , chronicler of decadence

Thomas Mann viewed the "decadent" aestheticism from a critical and ironic distance and characterized it in the form of the subtle but even ridiculous Detlev Spinell in his novella Tristan . In his first novel, Buddenbrooks , the central theme of decadence was already clear in the subtitle: the decline of a family . The dual aspect of decadence characterized by Nietzsche - biological decay with intellectual refinement - is carried out in the figure of the boy Hanno Buddenbrook . He is the last, ailing and artistically inclined offspring of the family, whose development is described over four generations: The increasing sensitivity is bought with failure in everyday life. Even his father, Senator Thomas Buddenbrook , who recognizes the danger in Hanno's nature and to whom the world of Richard Wagner's decadent music is basically alien, is shaken by Schopenhauer's intoxicating pessimism at the end of the novel and dies a little later.

In Mann's conservative and civilization-critical considerations of something non-political , Nietzsche's admirer again referred to his double perspective: to come out of the attitude to life of décadence and at the same time want to overcome it: “I mentally belong to that gender of writers spread across Europe who, from Coming to decadence, appointed to chroniclers and analysts of decadence, at the same time the emancipatory will to reject it ... at least experiment with overcoming decadence and nihilism. "

The first cultural-historical analyzes of decadence as an overall social phenomenon come from Karl Lamprecht and Eckart von Sydow . Lamprecht explained the fin-de-siècle mood at the end of the 19th century with the over-tension, over-saturation and fatigue of the indulgent bourgeois entrepreneurs, who themselves suffered from the “frenzied measure of time” that society had created and no longer suffered from the creative drive the early days. From a psychiatric point of view, Willy Hellpach analyzed decadence, which he described as a hyper-nervous- hysterical phenomenon, using the term “ degeneracy ” later used by the National Socialists .

Related currents

Other literary currents, which, like Symbolism and Impressionism, distinguished themselves from naturalism and are characterized by over-refined sensitivity and aestheticism , are dealt with in the article decadence poetry .

Oswald Spengler

Oswald Spengler described the growth and decay of cultures.

“Power” and “decadence” are also key terms in Oswald Spengler's historical thinking . In his fall of the West , he dealt with the inevitable decline of cultures.

He also took up Nietzsche's ideas and combined them with history-related biological thinking. Based on Goethe's philosophy of life and the living concept of “nature” , which contrasts life as dynamic and creative with rigid rationality, and working with the means of morphological analogy, he looks at eight independent high cultures and compares their development with that of organisms such as plants . According to Spengler's idea, these grow out of the chaos of forms of prehistoric times from culture-specific primordial symbols over various organic development phases until they have to die out. The West had entered this stage . The advanced civilizations - Egypt, India, Babylon, "Apollonian" antiquity, "magical" Arab culture, China, Mexican culture and " Faustian " Occident - were independent and separate from one another, but all had levels corresponding to one another and comparable with the aid of aesthetics from the budding early period (Dorik, Gothic ), through the bloom and the ripening crisis or counter-movement (Renaissance) to the wilting of (decadent) civilization , which the latter could develop imperialistically for a few centuries ( Caesarism ) before they - all of them and inevitably - would die. However, in contrast to Nietzsche, Spengler does not explicitly use the term “decadence / decadent” and covers civilization with terms such as “soulless”, “frozen like a mummy”, “rootless” or “creatively unproductive”.

Arnold Gehlen

Also based on Nietzsche's distinction between “ slave and herd animal morality ”, Arnold Gehlen criticized in his late work Moral and Hypermoral the exaggeration of certain social behavior to the detriment of others as hypermorality . This shows up as "moral hypertrophy ", as "mass eudaimonistic ethos". The humanitarianism (the evaluated as negative term already at Max Scheler had appeared and emotion-led ideology had called undifferentiated human love) Decompose the political virtues, the state and institutions ethos . Humanitarianism had already been introduced into the world as an ethical impulse through the Stoa and exaggerated the family ethos with its humanitarian and pacifist virtues.

Gehlen also referred to the social philosopher Georges Sorel , who had denounced decadence and lamented the decline of morals. “Decadence” is an indispensable word that denotes the internal and external loss of contact with history. The exaggerated subjectivism is inactive , since the relieving function of the institutions , the importance of which he had already worked out in other works, gradually ceased. The state is functionalized towards particular, social interests and loses its function as a guarantor of security both internally and externally. Gehlen imagines decadence and nihilism in relation to higher values behind the hyper-morality, which is only oriented towards this side .

As evidence of decadent societies, Gehlen also cited: “ When the jugglers, dilettantes, the nimble intellectuals push their way, when the wind of general buffoonery rises, then the age-old institutions and strict professional bodies also loosen: the law becomes elastic, the art nervous who have favourited religion sentimental. Then the experienced eye sees the head of Medusa under the foam , the person becomes natural and everything becomes possible. "

Decadence in Marxism

In politics and polemics that invoked Marxism , the designation of an artist as “decadent” was often used to denigrate him.


In his treatise Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism (Chapter VIII Parasitism and Decay in Capitalism) Lenin had already used biological metaphors such as “putrefaction” and “parasitism” to brand capitalism. The concept of decadence was of particular importance in the Soviet Union . There he referred initially to the assumed decline of bourgeois society , only to be transferred later - in Marxism-Leninism - to bourgeois culture - literature and music.

He was included in the discussion of socialist realism . This was proclaimed in 1932 by Ivan Gronskij and codified by Zhdanov in 1934 . The truthful and historically concrete representation should be combined in art with the task of ideologically reshaping and educating people in the sense of socialism. The ideological reason for this doctrine becomes understandable if one takes a look at the vulgar Marxist sociology of art . According to her, art is to be assigned to the superstructure ; every class has an art that satisfies it functionally. According to this ideology, art's free end in itself is forbidden. Music (even music criticism) serves exclusively to enforce socialism with the means of realism, not Western formalism. Zhdanov dictated the form of the works of art. By pinning bourgeois culture to decay , mysticism, and pornography , he separated Soviet fiction from modernity. What showed too much reality was branded as naturalism , what made development too transparent, as formalism , both of which were regarded as expressions of the decadence of bourgeois society.

Stalin canonized the procedure in 1936 in his treatise On Dialectical and Historical Materialism , which referred to the base-superstructure relationship and in which he explained the “intellectual life of society” as “a reflection of the conditions of its material life”.

This development culminates in the political battle concept of formalism , which is used in a variety of ways , which later became apparent in the GDR - for example in the formalism dispute. According to the doctrine of the CPSU proclaimed by socialist realism were avant-garde movements that are about to western twelve-tone music -oriented, as decadent rejected. Artists who refused to obey the command had to expect severe sanctions during the Stalin era. The reservations about decadence were also directed against other parts of modern art, such as expressionism . In the spirit of Stalin, Otto Grotewohl expressed in 1953, for example , that an art should be combated that "steals the substance of life, alienates the people and prevents the development of the nation". The cosmopolitanism was in his "to the anarchic resolution powered individualization of art" destructive and lead to war. In 1958, the state art magazine Bildende Kunst dismissed Expressionism as a “phenomenon of bourgeois decadence” and described it as a corrosive development that had to be overcome.

In this context, the fate of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich became known. After a performance of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk , which Stalin left furiously during the break, Pravda defamed the composer in a inflammatory article ("Chaos instead of Music") on January 28, 1936 and praised his work as chaotic and formalistic unable to express simple and strong feelings. He was accused of degeneracy and detachment from “true art” and references to the “nervous”, “cramped” jazz music were made. The gross naturalism of the opera is incompatible with the principles of socialist realism.

Lukács and Adorno

Georg Lukács described western modernism as decadent.

The Marxist literary theorist George Lukács defended the concept of socialist realism and operated with the concept of decadence (and formalism ). In his study on the history of philosophy, The Destruction of Reason , which examines the tendency towards irrationalism from Schelling to Hitler , he polemicized against the Western literature of modernity diagnosed as decadent . In this sense, there have been a number of dictates of Socialist Realism as a writing method since 1948. Judging by the work of bourgeois Thomas Mann, who is committed to realism, western modernity is psychologistic , formalistic and decadent . He made specific reference to writers such as Franz Kafka , James Joyce and Marcel Proust .

In The Destruction of Reason , George Lukács gives the following as an essential sign of every decadence (in the chapter "Nietzsche as the founder of imperialist irrationalism" ): "... the fluctuation between the finest sense of nuance, the most picky hypersensitivity and suddenly erupting, often hysterical brutality ..." .

Adorno , who had praised Lukács' famous theory of the novel , reacted with a smug as well as fundamental criticism and also subjected the word decadence to an ideological-critical analysis: “ All modern literature, as long as it does not fit the formula of a be it critical or socialist realism , is rejected, and without hesitation the odium of decadence is attached to it, a swear word that covers all the atrocities of persecution and extermination not only in Russia. The use of this conservative expression is incompatible with the doctrine, whose authority Lukács, through him, like his superiors, wants to bring into line with the national community. The talk of decadence can hardly be detached from the positive counter-image of a vigorous nature; Categories of nature are projected onto what is socially mediated. But the tenor of Marx and Engels' criticism of ideology is precisely against this. Even reminiscences of Feuerbach's healthy sensuality would hardly have given the social Darwinian term a place in her texts. "

Theodor W. Adorno subjected the word to an ideology-critical analysis.

According to the idea of ​​art, the contradictions should not be leveled ideologically, but presented in a conciliatory way so that the work points beyond itself. Adorno now criticizes Lukács' "extorted reconciliation", which the work of art can only escape if it preserves and transcends suffering in memory, but does not ignore it.

Using the example of the “decadence artist” Richard Wagner, Adorno tries to dialectically save the term decadence by considering the reflected “weakness” of the ego, the “psychological moments”, the cryptic and ambiguous as the aesthetic value of the work of art: “The ego differentiates itself infinite, in that it reflects and displays its own weakness, but by virtue of this weakness it at the same time falls back on the layer of the pre-ego. Thus in the predominance of the psychological moment in Wagner, the ambiguously interesting, something historical emerges. However, the fault line that marks Wagner's work, the powerlessness in the face of the technical and the social contradictions that support them, in short everything that the language of his contemporaries called decadence, is at the same time the path of artistic progress. ” In a note written in 1952 on He repeats his assessment of this attempt on Wagner and turns against the instrumental, denunciating use of the word decadence : “Anyone who interprets Wagner's work as a certificate of abdication of the liberal spirit must be careful not to immobilize knowledge in terms such as decadence, which is in the vocabulary of the eastern sphere have long since broken free from any relation to the matter and have degenerated into denunciating marks. What is better about Wagner than the order, the darkest powers of which he fought, is due to decadence, the inability of a subject who has already been damaged to the core by the superiority of the existing to still comply with the rules of the game. "

Frankfurt School

In the Frankfurt School , the criticism of the weaklings and lustful became stronger in the decadence of the insubstantial and greedy moved and thus the Marxist critique of capitalism approximated.

Kurt Lenk called “decadence” an empty phrase , like identity , communication, information, dynamics and many other terms that are often used but lack clarity. Its projective and apparently explanatory effect on disturbing social phenomena is all the stronger. Decadence is a central term in the conservative , culturally pessimistic and fascistic histories of universal historians such as Niccolò Machiavelli , Georges Sorel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler and Henri Bergson . According to Kurt Lenk, a number of “ philosophically oriented authors” such as Oswald Spengler, Ernst Jünger , Gottfried Benn and other representatives of the “ Conservative Revolution ” have understood the “Faustian-heroic man's attitude” as the only appropriate answer to a world tending towards decadence and decline want " . All of the given social structures would be affirmed by them as fate . Kurt Lenk: “Although the causes, symptoms and consequences of decadence are described in many different ways by the individual authors, they are similar in their dramaturgy. Ultimately, it is always about a decision between doom or rescue through some heroic deeds. ” At the center of the“ fascism- affine crisis semantics ”, which Sorel stands for, is, according to Lenk,“ the syndrome of decadence- apocalypse - heroism , which the idea of ​​a Kind of ' rebirth ' is based ".

National Socialism

In the language of National Socialism , parallel and synonymous with the attribute “decadent”, the term “ degenerate ” was used to denote and devalue social and ideological ideas and artistic works that contradicted National Socialist ideology and aesthetics. An alleged racial foreignness and thus inferiority of the representatives or creators of these ideas and works of art was often put forward as the cause of “decadence / degeneration”. An example of the connection between the decadence motif and racism is the following text from 1933 from a local newspaper:

"It is a sign of the terrible intellectual decadence of the past that she spoke of styles without recognizing their racial conditions."

It was popular to portray the western democracies as unfit for life, weak and decadent. This reproach of decadence against pluralism and democracy was also used by Adolf Hitler in his program Mein Kampf . Unwanted literature was often referred to as asphalt literature , for example by Joseph Goebbels on the occasion of the book burning on May 10, 1933 on Berlin's Opernplatz , which was also accompanied by formulaic comments “against decadence and moral decline”.

Current issues

In current linguistic usage, the term decadence or decadent behavior is predominantly equated with weakness , depravity and / or waste as well as in the sense of a socially harmful (predominantly moral-ethical) deviation from a healthy, natural way of life. The term is often critical of the behavior of people who set out to act as role models, i.e. public figures, media stars and the like. Ä. swept.

Against the background of the challenges posed by Islamic fundamentalism or the postulated clash of civilizations, there was and is again talk of (Western) decadence . Various authors point out that Islamic fundamentalism paints a picture of the West that is morally decadent through individualism and hedonism . The fundamentalist currents reject - with possible differences in individual questions ( Islamism ) - western modernity and its ideological principles, but do not stop at an idealization of the past. They are hostile to democracy , pluralism and secularization while using the technological advances of modernity for their own ends. Similar to the conservative theorists of decadence, Islamist positions assume a crisis situation, such as the economic lagging behind many Muslim countries. The reasons are u. a. Turning away from the “true faith” or a falsification of the “divine will” assumed; Western capitalism is rejected because it causes decadence , poverty and disbelief. Instead of economic and cultural reforms, a return to the basics of Islam is called for.

Various groups and parties belonging to the radical spectrum are also currently speaking of “decadence”.

In right-wing extremist , retrograde argumentation models, the catchphrase devalues ​​the present, while the past is mythically transfigured. The catchphrase is then part of the agitation that is directed against the rule of law, which as a system is generally questioned. Holger Apfel, for example, spoke of a “old party cartel characterized by decadence and clergy”.

Small Marxist-Leninist parties speak of decadence in order to reproach the market economy system, which one is striving to overcome, that so-called “speculative finance capital” has taken power.

Objections to these assessments have been raised from a liberal perspective. Ulrike Ackermann (in the Merkur booklet No Will to Power - Decadence ) emphasizes that the prophecies of the downfall of (decadent) capitalism have not been fulfilled, but that this and globalization are still rejected by many. A radical criticism of capitalism has developed into a diffuse contempt for globalization, and distrust of Western civilization quickly turns into an accusation of decadence . Western self-doubt, which tends to hate itself, is confronted with hatred of the decadence of the West; the tolerance of the West tolerates intolerance. Instead, one should be committed to the “individual freedoms of the bourgeois and citizen” and be skeptical of “those who make sense of the world who promise the good life in new and old collectives” .

In 2010, the then German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle caused a sensation with the statement "Anyone who promises the people effortless prosperity is an invitation to late Roman decadence".


See also


  • Christiane Barz: Flight from the world and faith in life. Aspects of decadence in Scandinavian and German modern literature around 1900. Edition Kirchhof & Franke, Leipzig / Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-933816-20-3 .
  • Alexandra Beilharz: The Décadence and Sade: Investigations into narrative texts of the French Fin de Siècle. M&P, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-476-45161-5 .
  • Karl Heinz Bohrer, Kurt Scheel (ed.): No will to power - decadence. (= MERKUR double issue 9/10, 2007). ISBN 3-608-97094-0 . (Merkur 700 anniversary issue)
  • Wolfgang Drost (ed.): Belief in progress and consciousness of decadence in Europe in the 19th century. Winter, Heidelberg 1986, ISBN 3-533-03662-6 .
  • Sabine Haupt, Stefan Bodo Würffel (ed.): Handbook Fin de Siècle. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-520-83301-3 .
  • Diemo Landgraf (Ed.): Decadence in Literature and Intellectual Debate since 1945. Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2014 ISBN 978-1-137-43102-8 .
  • Kurt Lenk: The problem of decadence since Georges Sorel. In: Heiko Kauffmann, Helmut Kellershohn, Jobst Paul (eds.): Völkische Bande. Decadence and Rebirth - Analyzes of Right Ideology. Unrast, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-737-9 .
  • Martin Urmann: Decadence. Surface and depth in art around 1900. Turia + Kant, Vienna / Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-85132-814-1 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Decadence  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helmut G. Koenigsberger: Sense and nonsense of the decadence problem in the European cultural history of the early modern period. In: Johannes Kunisch (Ed.): Spätzeit. Studies on the problems of a historical concept of epoch. Berlin 1980, pp. 137–157.
  2. ^ See last Benjamin Biesinger: Römische Dekadenzdiskurse. Studies on Roman historiography and its contexts (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD). Stuttgart 2016.
  3. See Edward Gibbons related decline concept.
  4. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , Taste, Volume 3, p. 446.
  5. Montesquieu: Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence
  6. Kindler's New Literature Lexicon. Volume 11, p. 902, Montesquieu: Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence
  7. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Decadence, Volume 2, p. 47.
  8. ^ A b Wilhelm Weischedel: The philosophical back stairs, Rousseau or the unhappy emotional thinker
  9. See also: "Kindlers Neues Literatur-Lexikon", Volume 6, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. P. 279, Munich
  10. See, however, the " Third Rome ".
  11. Quoted from "Kindlers Neues Literatur-Lexikon", Volume 6, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. P. 279, Munich
  12. “According to his origin, Socrates belonged to the lowest people: Socrates was a mob. You know, you can still see how ugly he was [...]. The anthropologists among the criminalists tell us that the typical criminal is ugly: monstrum in fronte, monstrum in animo. But the criminal is a decadent. ” Friedrich Nietzsche in Götzen-Twilight ; in Friedrich Nietzsche: The Wagner case, Götzen-Dämmerung, The Antichrist, Ecce homo , Critical Study Edition, Volume 6, Ed .: Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, dtv, pp. 68/69
  13. “Wherever the will to power falls in any form, there is always a physiological decline, a decadence. The deity of decadence, curtailed in its most manly virtues and instincts, now necessarily becomes the god of the physiologically retreated, the weak. " ; Friedrich Nietzsche in The Antichrist ; in Friedrich Nietzsche: The Wagner case, Götzen-Dämmerung, The Antichrist, Ecce homo , Critical Study Edition, Volume 6, Ed .: Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, dtv, pp. 68/69
  14. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche: Ecce homo, The Wagner case. A musicians problem , KSA 6, p. 357.
  15. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche: Ecce homo, The Wagner case. A musicians problem. , P. 21.
  16. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche: Ecce homo, The Wagner case. A musicians problem. , Pp. 21, 22.
  17. ^ Hans Schulz, Otto Basler, Gerhard Strauss: German Foreign Dictionary. Institute for German Language, de Gruyter, The Concept of Decadence, p. 138.
  18. ^ Metzler: Lexicon literature. Décadence, p. 143, Weimar 2007.
  19. Walther Killy: Literature Lexicon , Article Thomas Mann. Volume 7, p. 449.
  20. Thomas Mann: Considerations of a non-political. P. 201, Frankfurt edition, S. Fischer, Ed. Peter de Mendelssohn
  21. ^ Eckart von Sydow: The culture of decadence . Dresden, 2nd edition 1922.
  22. ^ Karl Lamprecht: To the recent German past: First volume: Tonkunst - Bildende Kunst - Poetry - Weltanschauung. (= German history first supplementary volume.) Berlin 1902.
  23. ^ Willy Hellpach: Nervousness and culture. Berlin 1902, p. 195 f.
  24. Massimo Ferrari Zumbini: Sunset and Dawn - Nietzsche, Spengler, Antisemitism. Königshausen & Neumann, 1999, Chapter V: Power and decadence: The "dispute about Spengler" and the question of the sources of the downfall of the West. P. 151 ff.
  25. Rainer Thurnher, Wolfgang Röd, Heinrich Schidinger: History of Philosophy, Volume XIII, The Philosophy of the Late 19th and 20th Centuries, No. 3, Philosophy of Life and Existential Philosophy, Beck, p. 149 ff.
  26. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. Outlines of a morphology of world history. 10th edition. dtv, Munich 1991, p. 35 and Spengler's foreword to the 1922 edition.
  27. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. P. 4 ff. And 149
  28. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. Pp. 140 ff., 596
  29. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. P. 226 ff.
  30. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. from p. 70.
  31. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. Pp. 840-880.
  32. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. P. 599 ff.
  33. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. 300 ff.
  34. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. P. 51 ff. + 432 ff.
  35. Oswald Spengler: The fall of the occident. P. 450 ff. And 677 ff.
  36. ^ Arnold Gehlen: Morality and Hypermoral. A pluralistic ethic. Athenaeum Publishing House, 1969.
  37. Note: According to Scheler, humanitarianism is the expansion of the concept of love, which used to refer primarily to the ideal spiritual substance of man and his relationship to God or the divine in man, to an all-encompassing love of man, which only relates to man himself in order to protest against the love of God and ultimately detach him from God (see Max Scheler: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen. Klostermann, 2004, p. 61 ff.).
  38. ^ Arnold Gehlen: Moral and Hypermoral A pluralistic ethics, Athenaeum publishing house, 1969, p. 80.
  39. ^ Arnold Gehlen: Moral and Hypermoral A pluralistic ethics, Athenaeum Verlag, 1969, p. 82.
  40. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , "Hypermoral", Volume 3, p. 1238.
  41. An indirect quote from Ortega y Gasset : The spirit of general buffoons blows through Europe.
  42. Man in the light of modern anthropology. In: ders: Philosophical anthropology and action theory. Complete edition Volume 4, edited by Karl-Siegbert Rehberg , p. 133. For the Freyer student Gehlen, “natural” means a reference back to Rousseau, and thus to the fact that Rousseauists like Robespierre would use the guillotine without hesitation (everything becomes possible) .
  43. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Art / Artwork, Volume 4, p. 1407.
  44. Music in the past and present, Sociology of Music pp. 962–963, Bärenreiter, 1986.
  45. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Art / Artwork, Volume 4, p. 1408.
  46. NZZ online : Art of Freedom or the phenomenon of late bourgeois decadence .
  47. Neue Musikzeitung "I can't live without composing"
  48. Walther Killy, Literaturlexikon DDR-Literatur , Volume 13, p. 164.
  49. who was close to Lukács for biographical and personal reasons, although he had caricatured him in the figure of the ugly Naphta
  50. Darmstadt and Neuwied (last edition in the Luchterhand Collection) 1974 Volume II, p. 12.
  51. ^ Theodor W. Adorno: Notes on literature. Extorted Reconciliation, p. 255.Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1974.
  52. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. “Reconciliation”, Volume 11, p. 902.
  53. ^ Theodor W. Adorno: The musical monographs attempt on Wagner, collected writings, Volume 13, p. 42.
  54. The musical monographs. Experiment on Wagner, Collected Writings, Volume 13, p. 507.
  55. Quoted from Hans Schulz, Otto Basler, Gerhard Strauss: German Foreign Dictionary. Institute for German Language, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York ( The concept of decadence. P. 140).
  56. ^ Wolfgang Durner: Anti-parliamentarianism in Germany. Königshausen & Neumann, 1997, p. 115.
  57. For example, in Erich Kästner's writings - forbidden and burned ( Memento from August 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  58. for example Karsten Fischer in Decadence as an Export Hit Semantics and Strategies in the Fight against Cultural Criticism ( Memento of the original from May 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  59. Islamism in the Federal Republic of Germany Causes, Organizations, Potential Dangers
  60. Right-wing extremist argumentation models
  61. ↑ Anti- constitutional objectives
  62. So the MLPD ( MLPD ( Memento of the original from August 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ), The KAZ ( Memento of the original from June 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  63. The article The last rebellion in the taz ( Memento of the original of August 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  64. a b Ulrike Ackermann: Defense of the decadent Europe (PDF; 141 kB)
  65. And the alpha animal greets you every day . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 28, 2009 .