The limits of intellectual dandyism are included in its essence.
The Dandy needs audience to perform his role and to feel existent; so, as a paradox, in spite of his claimed intellectual freedom and independence from schemes and fashions (the real dandy donít follow fashions, he creates it) the Dandy depends on people whom he expect to be admired by or to shock .
Dandyism, as style and philosophy, is originally British.
The first dandy of 1800, George Bryan ĎBeauí Brummell captured, in the turn of his cuff and the knot of his cravat, the studied irony and languor that defined his age.
But the archetype of intellectual dandy remains probably Oscar Wilde, who, in spite of his sublime witticism and his self-irony and great intelligence, could not tolerate the idea to be neglected by public, even though public was composed by people he didnít esteem and intellectually much inferior to him.
The frailness of the artistic and hedonistic dandyism is the need to see its own reflexion constantly.
But there are features of the dandy which might exist by themselves as a spirit of gay misanthropy, a sceptical, world-weary, sophisticated, bored or blasť demeanour, independence...
Every time I read Oscar Wilde I realize again how valid his words can remains through centuries and changes of society, as if the basic elements of human nature were immutable.
His deep and voluntary blasť self-irony is a precious shelter against the risks of taking oneself too seriously to get, as a consequence, overwhelmed by ridiculousness.