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"Method of this work:
I have nothing to say only to show." (Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)
2005, Oct 08; 23:21 ::: Zoos humains
Baignade de Nègres (Village noir au jardin d'acclimatation de Paris)
Image sourced here.
Inauguré le 6 octobre 1860 par Napoléon III et l'Impératrice Eugénie, le jardin d'acclimatation de Paris s'appelait d'abord "jardin zoologique d'acclimatation". Il devait "acclimater, multiplier et répandre dans le public toutes les espèces animales et végétales qui pourraient être introduite [sic] en France et paraîtraient dignes d'intérêt par leur utilité ou par leur agrément." (La production cinématographique des frères Lumière, sous la direction de Michelle Aubert, Jean-Claude Seguin, Editions Mémoires du cinéma, 1996)
Dès 1877, le jardin zoologique d'acclimatation se convertit à "l'acclimatation anthropologique". En pleine conquête coloniale, la curiosité des Parisiens est attirée par les coutumes et le mode de vie des peuples étrangers. Nubiens, Boschimans, Dahoméens, Cinghalais, Somaliens, Zoulous et bien d'autres encore sont ainsi exhibés, notamment jusqu'à la fin du siècle. Avec l'ampleur des Expositions universelles, vouées à glorifier les richesses coloniales, les activités du jardin d'acclimatation vont naturellement péricliter. Elles disparaîtront avec l'Exposition coloniale de 1931, qui marque l'aboutissement et la fin de ces exhibitions.
Parmi les autres films tournés en partie dans le jardin d'acclimatation, citons en particulier la seconde œuvre de Gérard Blain, Le pélican, et le célèbre Conte d'hiver d'Eric Rohmer. --http://www.forumdesimages.net/fr/alacarte/htm/ETUDE/LUMIERE/JARDIN_ACCLIMATATION.htm [Oct 2005]
Opened on October 6 1860 by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie, the Jardin d'Acclimatation de Paris or the Jardin Zoologique d'Aclimatation as it was first called was a Paris zoo.
From 1877 onwards, the Jardin Zoologique d'Acclimatation converted to "l'Acclimatation Anthropologique". In mid-colonialism, the curiosity of Parisians was attracted to the customs and lifestyles of foreign peoples. Nubians, Bushmen, Zulus and many other African peoples were "exhibited", a practice that would last until the end of the 19th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardin_d%27Acclimation [Oct 2005]
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Zoo
See also: zoo - Paris - Africa - exhibition
2005, Oct 08; 23:00 ::: Zoos humains : Au temps des exhibitions humaines (2004) - Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, Gilles Boëtsch, Eric Deroo, Collectif
Zoos humains : Au temps des exhibitions humaines (2004) - Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, Gilles Boëtsch, Eric Deroo, Collectif [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Présentation de l'éditeur
Les " zoos humains ", symboles oubliés de l'époque coloniale, ont été totalement refoulés de notre mémoire collective. Ces exhibitions de l'exotique ont pourtant été, en Occident, une étape majeure du passage progressif d'un racisme scientifique à un racisme populaire. Depuis l'exhibition en Europe de la Vénus hottentote au début du XIXe siècle, elles ont touché, comme on le découvrira dans ce livre remarquablement documenté, des millions de spectateurs, de Paris à Hambourg, de Londres à New York, de Moscou à Porto. Dans ces exhibitions " anthropozoologiques ", des individus " exotiques " mêlés à des bêtes sauvages étaient mis en scène derrière des grilles ou des enclos. Mesurés par les savants, exploités dans les cabarets, utilisés dans les expositions officielles, ces hommes, ces femmes et ces enfants venus des colonies devenaient les figurants d'un imaginaire et d'une histoire qui n'étaient pas les leurs. Premier ouvrage de synthèse sur la question, rassemblant les meilleurs spécialistes internationaux, Zoos humains met en perspective la " spectacularisation " de l'Autre, à l'origine de bien des stéréotypes actuels. L'enjeu de cet ouvrage est aussi de comprendre la construction de l'identité occidentale. " La somme collective que publie La Découverte est de bout en bout passionnante. Parce qu'elle interroge, autour du zoo humain, figure enfouie de l'ère coloniale, l'arrogante affirmation de la supériorité d'un Occident blanc comme un discours racial en construction, complément transversal de l'élaboration des identités nationales. Sans négliger de faire le lien avec d'autres enfermements - ceux des fous et des déviants notamment. " Le Monde. --via Amazon.fr
See also: zoo - Paris - Africa - exhibition
2005, Oct 08; 23:00 ::: Le Paris Noir (2001) - Pascal Blanchard
Le Paris Noir (2001) - Pascal Blanchard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
2005, Oct 08; 22:57 ::: Martina Schmuecker
Performance artist Martina Schmuecker in a box
Image sourced here.
See also: legs - art
2005, Oct 08; 22:47 ::: Zoo
Xylograph by Specht, ca 1870
Image sourced here.
See also: animal - 1870 - printmaking
2005, Oct 08; 22:37 ::: Human zoos
Affiche de 1887 présentant l'exposition des Ashantis au Jardin d'Acclimatation
Image sourced here.
Zoological exhibitions of "exotic" peoples began in several European countries in the 1870s. The first was Germany in 1874, where Karl Hagenbeck, an animal dealer and future promoter of the main European zoos, decided to exhibit Samoans and Lapps as specimens of "natural" tribes. In 1876, following the success of these exhibitions, he sent an assistant to the Egyptian Sudan to bring back animals and Nubians as a further attraction. They were put on show in Paris, London, Berlin and "other" European capitals.
The success of this venture influenced Geoffroy de Sainte Hilaire, director of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris, who was looking for attractions to redress the zoological garden’s precarious finances. In 1877 he decided to organise two "ethnological exhibitions" featuring Nubians and Esquimos. They were a huge success. The number of visitors to the Jardin doubled that year, reaching the million mark, as Parisians flocked to see what the press described as a "collection of exotic animals and no less peculiar individuals". From 1877 to 1912, the Jardin d’Acclimatation staged over 30 exhibitions of this type, all equally successful.
The concept was soon adapted to events of a more political nature, such as the international exhibitions in Paris in 1878 and 1889. One of the latter’s main attractions, apart from the Eiffel Tower, was a "negro village" with 400 "natives". The third Paris exhibition in 1900, which attracted 50 million visitors, included a famous "live diorama" on Madagascar. It was followed by colonial exhibitions in Marseilles in 1906 and 1922, and in Paris in 1907 and 1931. Some commercial establishments, at places like the Champ de Mars, the Folies Bergères and Magic City, began to specialise in ethnological entertainment and reconstructing famous events in the colonies such as the French defeat of King Behanzin’s forces in Dahomey, staged at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin. --http://mondediplo.com/2000/08/07humanzoo [Oct 2005]
See also: exotica - blaxploitation - zoo - slavery
2005, Oct 08; 22:37 ::: Western culture
It can be said that elements of western culture have had a very influential role on other cultures worldwide. Some people of many cultures, both Westerners and non-Westerners will equate "modernization" with "westernization", but many non-westerners object to the implication that all societies should adopt western traits. Some members of more radical thought communities in the non-Western world have suggested that this potential link is a reason why much of "modernity" should be rejected as intrinsically Western and thus incompatible with their vision of their societies. What is generally uncontested, is that much of the technology and social patterns which make up what is typically defined as "modernization" (e.g. steam engines, internal combustion engines, the scientific method, and others) were developed in the Western world. Whether these technological and social forms are instrinsically part of Western culture, is more difficult to answer. Many would argue that the question cannot be answered by a response from positivistic science and instead is a "value" question which must be answered from a value system (e.g. philosophy, religion, political doctrine). Nonetheless, much of anthropology today has shown the close links between the physical environment and daily activities and the formation of a culture (the findings of cultural ecology, among others). Therefore, the impact of "modernization" and "modern" technology may not merely be "scientific" (that is, physical) but may possibly be closely linked with a certain culture, that of the West, such that without such technology, Western culture today would have been dramatically different from how it is known in actual historical and contemporary times. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture#Hegemony [Oct 2005]
"Western Civ" as a curriculum
"Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho! Western Civ has got to go!" The chant of Stanford University students c. 1990's demonstrating against the canon of classic texts required in the basic humanities course because it was dominated by "dead white males" and was "Eurocentric". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture#.22Western_Civ.22_as_a_curriculum [Oct 2005]
See also: Western - civilization - hegemony
2005, Oct 08; 22:00 ::: Turn the Beat Around (2005) - Peter Shapiro
UK edition of Turn the Beat Around (2005) - Peter Shapiro
US edition of Turn the Beat Around (2005) - Peter Shapiro
Turn the Beat Around (2005) - Peter Shapiro [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A long-overdue paean to the predominant musical form of the 70s and a thoughtful exploration of the culture that spawned it
Disco may be the most universally derided musical form to come about in the past forty years. Yet, like its pop cultural peers punk and hip hop, it was born of a period of profound social and economic upheaval. In Turn the Beat Around, critic and journalist Peter Shapiro traces the history of disco music and culture. From the outset, disco was essentially a shotgun marriage between a newly out and proud gay sexuality and the first generation of post-civil rights African Americans, all to the serenade of the recently developed synthesizer. Shapiro maps out these converging influences, as well as disco's cultural antecedents in Europe, looks at the history of DJing, explores the mainstream disco craze at it's apex, and details the long shadow cast by disco's performers and devotees on today's musical landscape.
One part cultural study, one part urban history, and one part glitter-pop confection, Turn the Beat Around is the most comprehensive study of the Me Generation to date.
"Excellent. Leaves no doubt that disco lives at the heart of recent music history." --Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster, authors of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: The History of The Disc Jockey
"Peter Shapiro not only recovers disco from unjust critical malevolence, he proves himself one of music journalism's most provocative, expansive, and engaging writers. Unearthing a story that stretches from Nazi resistance to outcast American counterculture, through artistic triumphs and unlikely crossover, and finally into a massive backlash coded in racism and homophobia, Turn The Beat Around: A Secret History of Disco is riveting, powerful, and essential." --Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
Peter Shapiro's writing on music has appeared in Spin, Vibe, The Wire, and The Times (London). He is the author of the Rough Guides to, respectively, Hip-Hop, Essential Soul, and Drum 'N' Bass.
Few pop-music genres have so dominated the charts and airwaves as disco at its height; fewer still have subsequently been so reviled. Shapiro considers disco as much more than glitzy dance music with fashion ramifications. Emerging at a time when gay sexuality and rights were exploding and African Americans were entering the "post Civil Rights" era, disco combined elements of the subcultures of both. Shapiro describes how disco grew from roots stretching from World War II, became a worldwide phenomenon, and ended in a homophobic, racist backlash. High points in passing include Shapiro's incisive disquisition on how Saturday Night Fever had "more popular culture impact than any movie since Gone with the Wind." Shapiro cites record producer Nile Rodgers: "Those songs are powerful . . . just as relevant and as valid . . . as when the Sex Pistols . . . Pink Floyd [or] the Beatles are delivering a message." Let the pop-culture wars begin anew, with Shapiro's deeper, more balanced take on disco vitally informing the discussion. --Mike Tribby
See also: Peter Shapiro - disco - secret - history - secret history
2005, Oct 08; 21:50 ::: A Dictionary of Idiocy (2004) - Stephen Bayley
A Dictionary of Idiocy (2004) - Stephen Bayley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
It was Nietzsche who said that if people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever happen.
Returning to the original meaning of an idiot as a private man with views, Stephen Bayley draws a firm line between those who have opinions and those who hold stupid mass-produced views one can pick up anywhere. The first group, the idiots, is opinionated, will come up with interesting views and challenge orthodoxy; the other group, the stupid, merely regurgitate what they have heard before.
However, the number of stupid people is growing, however, and we urgently need more idiots!
Investigating further, Stephen Bayley finds the reason for illegal substances in Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit, unveils the mysteries of Italian cuisine, what Foucault and Barthes have in common, what Princess Diana meant when using the word 'tidy', and why everyone hates accountants with a vengeance.
Inevitably, idiocy has to be seen to be believed and Bayley delves deep into the arts, architecture, design, advertising, leather, kitsch and other professions which bring idiocy to the surface. From beards to opera, celebrity to phallic symbolism, 'A Dictionary of Idiocy' dissects existence in bite-sized chunks that even the MTV generation will be able to digest.
See also: Stephen Bayley - stupid
Stephen Bayley, born in Cardiff in 1951 and educated at Manchester University and Liverpool School of Architecture is a British art critic and cultural critic. He writes for several newspapers and is a contributing editor of GQ. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Bayley [Oct 2005]
2005, Oct 08; 14:50 ::: Stephen Bayley
2005, Oct 08; 14:50 ::: Sue (1997) - Amos Kollek
Anna Thomson (right) in Sue (1997) - Amos Kollek
Amos Kollek is a film director, writer and actor, born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1947. He is the son of the long-time mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, about whom he also made a film. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amos_Kollek [Oct 2005]
See also: film - USA - 1997
2005, Oct 08; 14:50 ::: In the Tepidarium (1881) - Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
In the Tepidarium (1881) - Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
This painting entitled "In the Tepidarium" is a small (9 1/2" x 13") sketch done by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema in 1881. It is unlikely that Irene Adler was the model. She would have been only 23 at the time, and is not known to have lived in St. Johns Wood (where Alma-Tadema resided) until circa 1888.
The rather obvious eroticism of the picture went unremarked at the time largely because the setting (obvious only from the title) and props gave it the respectibilty of high art, unlike the near-contemporary Olympia and Dejeuner sur l'herbe of Manet, which were all too contemporary in their settings. It is unknown whether or not Alma-Tadema intended the visual pun which seems to be made in the picture. (It is not immediately apparent, but the rug on which the lady lies is a bearskin rug.)
The remote possibility that Irene was the model does, however, permit a certain speculation, for if she were, and had Sherlock Holmes seen the picture, and inquired of the artist if the rug were for sale, it might just be that the rug in the painting is the very one which Dr Thornycroft Huxtable staggered to and collapsed upon in the case of The Priory School. --http://members.aol.com/mfrankland/tepid.htm [Oct 2005]
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (January 8, 1836--June 25, 1912) was a Dutch-born artist. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Alma-Tadema [Oct 2005]
See also: academic art - erotic art - visual arts - art - 1881
2005, Oct 08; 15:50 ::: Social constructionism
Social constructionism is a school of thought introduced into sociology by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann with their 1966 book, The Social Construction of Reality. The focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality. As an approach, it involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. Socially constructed reality is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process; reality is re-produced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it. Social constructionism is dialectically opposed to essentialism, the belief that there are defining transhistorical essences independent of conscious beings that determine the categorical structure of reality.
Within social constructionist thought, a social construction, or social construct, is an idea which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society. The implication is that social constructs are in some sense human choices rather than laws resulting from divine will or nature. This is not usually taken to imply a radical anti-determinism, however.
Some ideas which have been famously described as social constructs include race, class, gender, sexuality, morality, and even reality. Less controversial but equally important social constructs are languages, games, money, shares, nations, governments, universities, corporations, and other institutions. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_constructionism [Oct 2005]
See also: Peter Berger - social - culture - tradition - reality
2005, Oct 08; 14:50 ::: Cocomotion (1977) - El Coco
Of all the disco "bands", El Coco (Rinder and Lewis) had the best designed sleeves. My apologies for the poor scans.
Cocomotion (1977) - El Coco
Dancing in Paradise (1978) - El Coco
See also: sleeve - 1977 - El Coco - disco
2005, Oct 08; 13:50 ::: Disco Rotic I, II and III (2004, 2004, 2005) - Various
Disco Rotic I, II and III are a bootleg vinyl compilation series on unknown German label, click the image source to listen to excerpts of the tracks, all cover images are by Milo Manara. The images were sourced at http://www.juno.co.uk, the text at http://www.boomkat.com.
The selection of tracks on the Disco Rotic compilations are similar to RVNG PRSNTS MX4: Crazy Rhythms (2005) by Mike Simonetti & Dan Selzer, which counted among the best compilations efforts of 2005.
image sourced here.
Bobby O - "I'm So Hot For You"
Giorgio Moroder - "I Wanna Rock You"
Kid - "Kid"
Rinder & Lewis - "Wiilie & The Hand Jive"
The Key - "Wulf Ticket"
More eighties extensions - this time Bobby O offers one of his better known and some what more palatable numbers. it still reeks a big one of moulding cheese to these ears, but then i never was one for hi-nrg clubs. It is quite evident who human league ripped off after hearing this tune. An offcut from Georgio Moroder 'I wanna rock you' drifts along in rather no-descript fashion, until K.I.D. arrive with a welcome dose of the funk, just as all those sequences were starting to get on top. Rinder & Lewis's synthetics sound a whole lot more well conceived - big sounds, funky handclaps and a cosmic approach to disco which really works. The Key's 'Wulf Ticket' rolls on somewhere between proto fey rap and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. okay, enough already. --http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=16058 [Oct 2005]
image sourced here.
Irene Cara - "Breakdance"
Goblin - "Flashing" (12" remix)
Kebekelektik - "Journey Into Love"
Easy Going - "Do It Again"
Witch Queen - "All Right Now"
Perhaps the pick of the three retro collections on shgow this week, especially if you're after some quality obscurities -Irene Cara's 'Breakdance' is perhaps a little over-familiar, yet Goblin's venerable 'Flashing' in its 12" version will have the electro maffia creaming themselves. Worth price of admission alone and just check the breakdown! Heavy. Kebekelektrik's 'Journey into Love' ploughs a more familiar furrow, and is jarringly familiar. Easy Going's 'Do It Again' picks up on the disco's penchant for soft rock funk, before anyone really understood the whole movement as a genre - a useful track for breaks afficionadoes, although using a compilation would be somewhat sacrosanct. Witch Queen's 'All Right Now' is a mad mad tune - a kind of hoedown disco version of the hairy bearded old Free rocker - strings to the fore. True bad taste and so much the better for it. --http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=16057 [Oct 2005]
image sourced here.
Vivien Vee - "Alright"
Universal Energy - "Disco Energy"
Patrick Cowley - "Get A Little"
Harry Thurman - "Underwater"
Blue Vision - "Visions"
The third Disco Rotic selection and I think we all know what we’re getting into here. Its quite evident that an unnatural italian obsession can lead to hunting out the rarest Goblin productions. Universal Energy's "Disco Energy" is a safer smoother proposition – good mixer - Patrick Cowley's "Get A Little" offers reason enough to get involved. Harry Thumann's "Underwater" rears its head again and still manages to sound pretty good, Blue Vision's "Visions" maintains the quality levels through side two. Party time! --http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=18192 [Oct 2005]
See also: 2005 music - Milo Manara - electro - disco
2005, Oct 08; 12:50 ::: High Theory / Low Culture (2005) - Mikita Brottman
High Theory / Low Culture (2005) - Mikita Brottman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Mikhail M. Bakhtin is gradually emerging as one of the leading theorists of the twentieth century, not only in literary circles, but wherever the fundamental nature of "literature" and "culture" is taken into question.
In "High Theory/Low Culture, Mikita Brottman uses the tools of "high" cultural theory to examine many areas of today's popular culture, including style magazines, sports, shopping, tabloid newspapers, horror movies and pornography. In doing so, she not only demonstrates the practical use of "high" theory as it relates to our everyday world, but she also investigates the kinds of "low" culture that are regularly dismissed by academic scholars. Through a close examination of these cultural forms, Brottman reveals how the kinds of popular culture that we usually take for granted are, in fact, far more complex and sophisticated than is normally assumed.
- Introduction: Popular Culture and its Critics
- Bakhtin and Style Magazines
- "Joyful Mayhem": Bakhtin and Football
- Barthes and Tabloid Newspapers
- Roland Barthes Goes Shopping
- "Blue Prints and Bodies": Lacan and Pornography
- Dark Homecomings: Lacan and the Horror Film
About the author
Mikita Brottman is Professor of Language and Literature, Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the editor of Car Crash Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) and author of three books on the horror film.
See also: Mikita Brottman - high - theory - low - culture
2005, Oct 08; 12:33 ::: Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition - Richard Keller Simon
Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition - Richard Keller Simon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Simon (English and humanities, California Polytechnic State Univ.) here maintains that great literature and popular entertainment evoke "comparable experiences." Painstakingly detailing the structures and ideas shared by popular culture and great literature, he compares modern supermarket tabloid and gossip magazine tragedies to the great tragic literature; TV talk shows, sitcoms, and soap operas to the history of the theater; and Star Wars, Star Trek, and Vietnam War movies to The Faerie Queen, Gulliver's Travels, and Homer. Likewise, advertising, shopping malls, and Playboy, he suggests, fulfill historic needs in modern context. A controversial and optimistic view of both literature and popular works, Simon's argument is carefully thought out and surprisingly convincing. Recommended for literature and communication collections. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc, amazon.com
See also: trash - popular culture - tradition
2005, Oct 08; 08:33 ::: Cultural turn
The cultural turn describes developments in cultural studies and the sociology of culture. It describes a shift in emphasis towards meaning. This shift of emphasis occurred over a prolonged time, but particularly since the 1960s.
The introduction of social constructionism has helped this development a great deal. With the shift towards meaning, the importance of high arts and mass culture in cultural studies has declined. If culture was about things (a piece of art, a TV series), it is now more about processes and practices of meanings.
The cultural turn has helped cultural studies to gain more respect as an academic discipline. With the shift away from high arts the discipline has increased its percieved importance and influence on other disciplines. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_turn [Oct 2005]
See also: meaning - sociology - culture theory - cultural studies - Peter Berger - 1960s
2005, Oct 07; 08:33 ::: Medieval Popular Culture : Problems of Belief and Perception (1990) - Various authors
Medieval Popular Culture : Problems of Belief and Perception (1990) - Aron Gurevich, Peter Burke, Ruth Finnegan [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
By scrutinizing the lives of saints, miracle stories, descriptions of fantastic travels, penitential literature, catechisms and similar genres, from the fifth to the 15th centuries, the author attempts to reconstruct the beliefs and perceptions of ordinary men and women in medieval times. --Via Amazon.co.uk
Peter Burke (born 1937) is a British historian. He received his doctorate from Oxford University. For sixteen years he was part of the School of European Studies at the University of Sussex, before moving to the University of Cambridge where he still holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Cultural History and Fellow of Emmanuel College. Burke is celebrated as a historian not only of the early modern era, but one who emphasizes the relevance of social and cultural history to present-day issues. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Burke [Oct 2005]
See also: Middle Ages - popular culture
2005, Oct 07; 08:33 ::: Printing in the industrial age
The Gutenberg press was much more efficient than manual copying, as testament to its effectiveness, it was essentially unchanged from the time of its invention until the Industrial Revolution, some three hundred years later.
The invention of the steam powered press is credited to Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer in 1812 made it possible to print tens of thousands of copies of a page in a day.
Koenig and Bauer sold two of their first models to The Times in London in 1814, capable of 1,100 impressions per hour. The first edition so printed was on November 28, 1814. Koenig and Bauer went on to perfect the early model so that it could print on both sides of a sheet at once. This began to make newspapers available to a mass audience, and from the 1820s changed the nature of book production, forcing a greater standardization in titles and other metadata.
Later on in the middle of the 19th century the rotary press (invented in 1843 in the United States by Richard M. Hoe) allowed millions of copies of a page in a single day. Mass production of printed works flourished after the transition to rolled paper, as continuous feed allowed the presses to run at a much faster pace. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press#Printing_in_the_industrial_age [Oct 2005]
See also: printing - industrial revolution
2005, Oct 07; 08:23 ::: Folk culture
Folk culture refers to the localized lifestyle of a subsistence or otherwise inward looking culture. It is usually handed down through oral tradition and a strong sense of community, and values the "old ways" over novelty. Finally, folk culture is quite often imbued with a sense of place. If its elements are copied by, or removed to, a foreign locale, they will still carry strong connotations of their original place of creation.
[F]olk culture has always informed pop culture and even high culture. The minuet and other stately dances of European court society were based on the dances of peasants. Similarly, the European courtly rage for pastoral romance was based on an idealized vision of shepherd's lives. More recently, the consciously self-centered culture of the Amish has been portrayed for comic value in Hollywood films and big media reality shows, and the archetypal costume of the cowboy has been reinvented in gleaming silver for disco dancers and strippers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_culture [Oct 2005]
See also: folk - culture theory
2005, Oct 07; 00:42 ::: Study of culture
Some scholars, such as Russell Nye (1970) and Herbert Gans (1974), equate the materials of popular culture to the mass media, and therefore maintain that popular culture did not exist prior to the Industrial Revolution, the rise of a large middle-class segment of society, and the concomitant rise of rapid printing. Gans accepts the tripartite model of culture as folk, popular, and elite, describing pre-industrial Europe as largely a folk culture ruled by a small elite group.
[t]he study of popular culture as a scholarly discipline can be traced back at least as far as the writings of Giambattista Vico, who anticipated today's cultural studies programs as he attempted to discover the "principles of humanity" in his New Science of 1775 (Feldman and Richardson, 1972: 50-61). --http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/popc/bkgrnd.html
See also: critical theory - cultural studies - popular culture
2005, Oct 05; 23:35 ::: Cultural Capital : The Problem of Literary Canon Formation (1995) - John Guillory
Cultural Capital : The Problem of Literary Canon Formation (1995) - John Guillory [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
John Guillory challenges the most fundamental premises of the canon debate by resituating the problem of canon formation in an entirely new theoretical framework. The result is a book that promises to recast not only the debate about the literary curriculum but also the controversy over "multiculturalism" and the current "crisis of the humanities." Employing concepts drawn from Pierre Bourdieu's sociology, Guillory argues that canon formation must be understood less as a question of the representation of social groups than as a question of the distribution of "cultural capital" in the schools, which regulate access to literacy, to the practices of reading and writing.
See also: culture - capital - canon - culture theory - humanities - literary theory
2005, Oct 05; 17:47 ::: Reading for the Plot : Design and Intention in Narrative (1984) - Peter Brooks
Reading for the Plot : Design and Intention in Narrative (1984) - Peter Brooks [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Brooks has published on narrative and narrative theory, and, most recently, on the interrelations of law and literature. He is the author of several books, including Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Psychoanalysis and Storytelling (Blackwell, 1994), Body Work (Harvard University Press, 1993), Reading for the Plot (Knopf, 1984), and The Melodramatic Imagination (Yale University Press, 1976). He co-edited, with Paul Gewirtz, Laws Stories (Yale University Press, 1996) and, with Alex Woloch, Whose Freud? (Yale University Press, 2000). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, London Review of Books, Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, the Yale Law Journal, and elsewhere.--http://www.law.virginia.edu/lawweb/faculty.nsf/FHPbI/A269 [Oct 2005]
See also: narrative - narratology - plot - USA - literary theory
2005, Oct 05; 17:43 ::: S/Z: An Essay (1970) - Roland Barthes
S/Z: An Essay (1970) - Roland Barthes [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
"Language was both a luxury and a discipline for Barthes. He pursued a subject through language until he cornered it, until its disguise fell away and it was revealed in a kind of epiphany. In his own way, he cleaned the face of Paris more thoroughly than Andre Malraux did when he ordered its buildings washed down to their original colors and arranged for lights to be played upon them. Musing on the kind of painting done by someone like Ingres, Barthes says that 'painters have left movement the amplified sign of the unstable . . . the solemn shudder of a pose impossible to fix in time . . . the motionless overvaluation of the ineffable.' This might also serve as his definition of classical French prose, and in order to escape its encroachment, Barthes prodded, squeezed and sniffed at language, like a great chef buying fruits and vegetables. He munched distinctions. His sentence rhythms were those of a man who talks with his hands."--Anatole Broyard
Barthes' book S/Z is often called the masterpiece of structuralist literary criticism. In S/Z, Barthes dissects the story "Sarrasine" by Honoré de Balzac at length, proceeding sentence by sentence, assigning each word and sentence to one or several "codes" and levels of meaning within the story. In S/Z Barthes also introduced the concepts of lisible and scriptable (readable and writable) works. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Barthes#Works [Oct 2005]
Sarrasine was written by Honoré de Balzac and was published in 1830 (the same year as he published La Peau de Chagrin), and is part of his Comédie Humane.
Balzac's Sarrasine was not paid much attention to prior to Roland Barthes' blow-by-blow structuralist analysis of the text in his book S/Z, published in 1974. Barthes dissects the text in accordance to several codes (hermeneutic code, semiotic code, etc). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarrasine [Oct 2005]
See also: structuralism - narratology - Roland Barthes - French philosophy - France
Introductory Guide to Theory: I began creating this web site in 2001; it now averages approximately one million page views per year. The Guide to Theory is a resource for the teaching and learning of critical theory, including sections on Postmodernism, Psychoanalysis, Narratology, Marxism, New Historicism, and Theories of Gender and Sex. I am currently working to create a paper-based version of the site. Click here to read Elaine Showalter's discussion of my web material. --Dino Felluga via http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/ [Oct 2005]
2005, Oct 05; 11:43 ::: Introductory Guide to Theory
See also: Dino Felluga - theory - critical theory - USA
2005, Oct 05; 11:04 ::: The Perversity of Poetry: Romantic Ideology and the Popular Male Poet of Genius (2005) - Dino Franco Felluga
The Perversity of Poetry: Romantic Ideology and the Popular Male Poet of Genius (2005) - Dino Franco Felluga [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Once the dominant literary form, poetry was gradually eclipsed by the realist novel; indeed, by 1940 W. H. Auden was able to note, "Poetry makes nothing happen." In The Perversity of Poetry, Dino Franco Felluga explores the cultural background of poetry's marginalization by examining nineteenth-century reactions to Romantic poetry and ideology. Focusing on the work of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, as well as periodical reviews, student manuals, and contemporary medical journals, the book details the period's two contending (and equally outrageous) claims regarding poetry. Scott's poetry, on the one hand, was continually represented as a panacea for a modern world overtaken by new principles of utilitarianism, capitalism, industrialism, and democracy. Byron's, by contrast, was represented either as a cancer in the heart of the social order or as a contagious pandemic leading to various pathological symptoms. The book concludes with a coda on Alfred Lord Tennyson, which illustrates how the Victorian reception of Scott and Byron affected the most popular poetic genius of midcentury. Ultimately, The Perversity of Poetry uncovers how the shift to a rhetoric of health allowed critics to oppose what they perceived as a potent and potentially dangerous influence on the age, the very thing that would over the course of the century be marginalized into such obscurity: poetry, thanks to its perverse insistence on making something happen.
From the Publisher
Explains why poetry gave way to the realist novel as the dominant literary form in nineteenth-century England.
Dino Franco Felluga is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University
See also: critical theory - perversion - poetry - novel - genius - romanticism - USA
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