Translation in decadence: George Moore’s Confessions of a Young Man

Creasy, M. (2023) Translation in decadence: George Moore’s Confessions of a Young Man. Modern Philology, 121(1), pp. 12-31.

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Although it is presented as a first-person narrative or memoir, George Moore’s Confessions of a Young Man (1888) blurs generic boundaries between fiction and autobiography and between criticism and creative practice. This essay explores the role of translation in Moore’s cultivation of an elusive and slippery narrative identity. Focusing upon his renderings of texts by Stéphane Mallarmé and J.-K. Huysmans, I propose that Moore’s translational practice is decadent in both its choice of subject matter and the particularities of its forms and context. I consider the central role played by translated excerpts within journalistic writings as a mode of textual transmission at the end of the nineteenth century. Within this broader context, Moore repurposed translated material from his nonfictional writings within his fiction to generate a playfully complex web of literary and aesthetic connections. His writings create paradox and irony within communities of interlinguistic allusion that characterize decadence more generally.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This article derives from research as part of the Decadence and Translation Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Creasy, Dr Matthew
Authors: Creasy, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Modern Philology
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN (Online):1545-6951
Published Online:25 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The University of Chicago
First Published:First published in Modern Philology 121(1):12-31
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300118Decadence and TranslationMatthew CreasyArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/R006571/1Arts - English Literature