The Hyper Sexual Hysteric: Decadent Aesthetics and the Intertextuality of Transgression in Nick Cave’s Salomé

Main Article Content

Gerrard Carter

Abstract

Salomé (1988), Nick Cave’s striking interpretation of the story of the Judean princess enhances and extends the aesthetic and textual analysis of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 French symbolist tragedy (Salomé), yet it is largely overlooked. As we examine the prior bricolage in the creation of such a hypertextual work, we initiate a captivating literary discourse between the intertextual practices and influences of biblical and fin-de-siècle literary texts. The Song of Songs, a biblical hypotext inverted by Wilde in the creation of the linguistic-poetic style he used in Salomé, had never previously been fully explored in such an overt manner. Wilde chose this particular book as the catalyst to indulge in the aesthetics of abjection. Subsequently, Cave’s enterprise is entwined in the Song’s mosaic, with even less reserve. Through a semiotic and transtextual analysis of Cave’s play, this paper employs Gérard Genette’s theory of transtextuality as it is delineated in Palimpsests (1982) to chart ways in which Cave’s Salomé is intertwined with not only Wilde but also the Song of Songs. This literary transformation demonstrates the potential and skill of the artist’s audacious postmodern rewriting of Wilde’s text.

Article Details

How to Cite
Carter, G. (2018). The Hyper Sexual Hysteric: Decadent Aesthetics and the Intertextuality of Transgression in Nick Cave’s Salomé. HUMANITIES BULLETIN, 1(2), 223-238. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/272
Section
Articles