Robert Azzarello is an associate professor of English at Southern University at New Orleans. He received his BA at Loyola University New Orleans, his MA at the University of Nevada-Reno, and his PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Queer Environmentality: Ecology, Evolution, and Sexuality in American Literature and Three Hundred Years of Decadence: New Orleans Literature and the Transatlantic World.
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Three Hundred Years of Decadence: New Orleans Literature and the Transatlantic World
Robert Azzarello’s Three Hundred Years of Decadence makes a significant new contribution to scholarship on New Orleans by exploring the concept of decadence in literary works ranging from the late seventeenth century to contemporary speculations about the city’s future. He considers texts from multiple literary genres--from fiction, poetry, and drama to song and travel writing--including Ludwig von Reizenstein’s The Mysteries of New Orleans, Charles Chesnutt’s Paul Marchand, F.M.C., Tom Dent’s Ritual Murder, and Moira Crone’s The Not Yet, and the poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa, Martha Serpas, Sheryl St. Germain, and more. With many of the texts written in languages other than English, all offer a nuanced perspective on the city, its history, and its connections to the transatlantic world. For Azzarello, the concept of decadence and its shifting representations in New Orleans literature reveal how the city functions as a transatlantic contact zone for peoples and cultures from Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
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