The Hipster and the Dandy

by phil on Monday Feb 23, 2009 2:12 PM
mainfeed, societal observations

Are modern-day hipsters simply a re-hash of the 18th- and 19th-century dandy?

These quotes are from Wikipedia's entry on "dandy":

a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies
often strove to imitate an aristocratic style of life despite coming from a middle-class background.
The dandy cultivated skeptical reserve
one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking .... Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.
woah, double-check.

Reminds me of how the 60s hippie/counter/drug-culture was a re-hash of the transcendentalist movement. And how everybody in the midst of their movement seems to imagine it as wholly novel.


William said on February 17, 2011 8:38 AM:

Just finished reading Dorian Gray, and I came to the same conclusion. God, I love being a history nerd.

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