History of the Dandy, Part I




Materializing Queer Desire: Oscar Wilde to Andy Warhol  by Elisa GlickMaterializing Queer Desire: Oscar Wilde to Andy Warhol
by Elisa Glick
SUNY Press.  220 pages, $24.95


AT THE END of this tantalizing, informative, erudite and resourceful book, English and Women & Gender Studies academic Elisa Glick quotes one of her illustrious predecessors, Rhonda Garelick, on the figure of the dandy: “Critics writing about dandies or their texts fall easily into dandyist style, and succumb to its charms.”

Quite. The importation of a kind of “late” or difficult style from post-structuralism—more informed by Michel Foucault or Roland Barthes than the equally indirect and elusive prose of Henry James—has been the undoing of many a monograph within queer literary studies. Glick, however, earns the right to allude to the danger of “swallowing” dandyism, on account of the striking lucidity and directness of her own approach. Beyond this, however, lies a second reason to recommend Materializing Queer Desire. Unlike many books-from-theses, this volume has something new and significant to say.

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