Display of Decadent Books

Display of Decadent Books
Our readers will remember that in our July number we described a Stevenson window in Mr. Doxey's book - shop in The Palace Hotel on Market Street, San Francisco. Mr. Doxey, who is a man of novel enterprise and ideas, has succeeded this with an exhibition in his window of decadent literature, a picture of which appears herewith.

As an admirer of Stevenson Mr. Doxey is, of course, no disciple of decadence, and we treat the whole matter as in the nature of a huge joke. Still it is no joke, but a serious sign of the times, for Mr. Doxey has brought home to the man in the street, as no-body else has done, the existence of decay, or what passes for decay in literature and art. He has arrayed in that weird window of his all sorts and conditions of modern writers and artists. He has recruited his "cohort of the damned," as Kipling has it, from nearly every country in Europe.

By far the most interesting aspect of the question is the number of fin de siecle journals that have sprung up during recent years. They began with The Yellow Book, which sprang into life April 12th, 1894, the first imitation of which in America was the Chap Book, published by Messrs. Stone and Kimball, and which appeared just a month later than the Bodley Head quarterly. Since then nearly every State has had its decadent periodical. Far and away the most amusing, the most curious of the whole series, is the Lark. It was brought into existence in May of last year. It is the reductio ad absurdum of decadence, and is a good - humoured burlesque of the whole movement. It is a six-teen - page, ten - cent monthly, printed on a kind of paper more useful for holding tea than type. It ridicules the eccentricities of typography by printing prose as if it were verse. Its illustrations are exactly like the primitive wood-cuts of three hundred years ago, and it cultivates the gentle art of nonsense-verse to perfection. Mr. John Lane, we believe, is to publish an English edition of the Chap-Book. Why not, we would suggest to Mr. Doxey , find an English publisher for the Lark?

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The Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery Street
94105 San Francisco , CA
United States
37° 47' 16.71" N, 122° 24' 6.9336" W
California US