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Current topics by concept: counterculture - culture - fantastic - fiction - genre - popular - modernism - philosophy - postmodernism - list of sensibilities - subculture - taste - theory

Current research interests: nobrow - visual culture - irrationalism

Currently reading: The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970) - Todorov

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2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Television culture

In search of visual culture

Television Culture (1990) - John Fiske [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Semiotic democracy

Semiotic democracy is a phrase first coined by John Fiske, a media studies professor, in his seminal media studies book Television Culture. Fiske defined the term as the "delegation of the production of meanings and pleasures [(and I suppose horrors too)] to [television's] viewers." Fiske discussed how rather than being passive couch potatoes that absorbed information in an unmediated way, viewers actually gave their own meanings to the shows they watched that often differed substantially from the meaning intended by the show's producer.

Subsequently, this term was appropriated by the technical and legal community in the context of any re-working of cultural imagery by someone who is not the original author. Examples include Harry Potter slash fiction that reworks J. K. Rowling's characters into homosexual romances.

Legal scholars are concerned that just as technology eases the process of cheaply making and distributing derivative works imbued with new cultural meanings available to wide public, copyright and right-to-publicity law is clamping down on and limiting these works, thus reducing their promulgation, and limiting semiotic democracy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotic_democracy [Jun 2006]

See also: visual culture - media theory - television - culture - semiotics

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy (2002) - Gary Westfahl, George Slusser (editors)

Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy (2002) - Gary Westfahl, George Slusser (editors) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Science fiction occupies a peculiar place in the academic study of literature. At a time when the canon is being consciously expanded and diversified, and when there is growing scholarly interest in technology and popular culture, works of science fiction are nonetheless marginalized by the academy. So too, many works of science fiction engage recognized canonical texts such as the Odyssey, yet traditionalists within the academy have largely shunned the serious study of science fiction. In this book, expert contributors examine the traditional and continuing tendency to exclude science fiction from the literary canon. In exploring this topic, the book addresses many broader issues, such as the nature of canon formation, the role of journals in legitimizing academic inquiry, and the cultural politics of academic gatekeeping.

"This collection will be useful for anyone teaching or writing about science fiction. It could also offer food for thought to those who dismiss science fiction, but of course they are the people least likely to read it....[T]hese essays, taken together, form a genuine dialogue, with all the irriation involved in actually having to listen to the "other side." No one will like more than half of them. But as collections go, that is not a bad average. Theeditors are to be commended for creating the space for a genuine exchange, something all too rare."-SFRA Review

See also: canon - SF - academic

2006, June 17; 19:05 ::: The Marvelous and Todorov

In search of the marvelous

"Let us not mince words: the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful." --Surrealist Manifesto (1924) - André Breton

The Marvelous vs. the Uncanny

 According to Tsvetan Todorov,  a certain hesitation exists throughout a Gothic tale: the hesitation of the reader in knowing what the rules are in the game of reading.  Can our understanding of familiar perceptions of reality account for strange goings-on or do we have to appeal to the extraordinary to account for the setting and circumstances of the mysterious story?   At the novel's close, the reader makes a decision, often apart from the character's or narrator's point of view (see unreliable narrator), as to the laws that are governing the novel.  If she decides that new laws of nature must be in place for the phenomena to occur, the novel is classified in the genre of "the marvelous," also called supernatural accepted.  If she decides that the laws of nature as she knows them can remain unchanged and still allow for the phenomena described, the novel is in the genre of "the uncanny," or supernatural explained.

Examples:  Comparing the works of Horace Walpole and Clara Reeves illustrates the difference between "marvelous" and "uncanny" works.   Walpole's The Castle of Ortranto resides in the genre of the marvelous, or supernatural accepted, adopting new laws of nature for the setting and circumstances.  Clara Reeves' works, on the other hand, fall into the genre of the uncanny, or supernatural explained, citing known laws of nature as reasons for the phenomena described. She, in fact, consciously set out to rehabilitate the extravagances of Walpole's Gothic vision in Otranto.

For more on the debate see UVa's "The Uncanny and the Fantastic." --http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/~dougt/goth.html#mar [Jun 2006]

In his book The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970), Tzvetan Todorov offers the following definitions of fantastic fiction:

"In a world which is indeed our world, the one we know....there occurs an event which cannot be explained by the laws of this same familiar world. The person who experiences the event must opt for one of two possible solutions: either he is the victim of an illusion of the senses, of a product of the imagination-- and the laws of the world then remain what they are; or else the event has indeed taken place, it is an integral part of reality--but then this reality is controlled by laws unknown to us (p. 25)."

"The fantastic occupies the duration of this uncertainty....The fantastic is that hesitation experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparently supernatural event (p. 25)."

Todorov later comments:

"The fantastic requires the fulfillment of three conditions. First, the text must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural or supernatural explanation of the events described. Second, this hesitation may also be experienced by a character; thus the reader's role is so to speak entrusted to a character, and at the same time the hesitation is represented, it becomes one of the themes of the work--in the case of naive reading, the actual reader identifies himself with the character. Third, the reader must adopt a certain attitude with regard to the text: he will reject allegorical as well as "poetic" interpretations (p. 33)."

Todorov distinguishes the fantastic from two other modes, the uncanny and the marvelous. While these modes have some of the ambiguity of the fantastic, they ultimately offer a resolution governed by natural laws (the uncanny) or the supernatural (the marvelous).

"[In the uncanny], events are related which may be readily accounted for by the laws of reason, but which are, in one way or another, incredible, extraordinary, shocking, singular, disturbing or unexpected, and which thereby provoke in the character and in the reader a reaction similar to that which works of the fantastic have made familiar (p. 46)." Todorov's definition of the uncanny might be applied to stories in which the character realizes s/he is mad or has just awakened from a dream. Thus, the uncanny is an "experience of limits."

"If we move to the other side of that median line which we have called the fantastic, we find ourselves in the fantastic-marvelous, the class of narratives that are presented as fantastic and that end with an acceptance of the supernatural (p. 52)." --http://www.unc.edu/~bardsley/ghosts/todorov.html

On Lem on Todorov:

Historically speaking, prior to what we refer to as the "Enlightenment," there could be no such hesitation. The supernatural was accepted as a part of life. Witches and God co-existed with men and women, and a story could, in Todorov's terms, be "marvelous," but never "fantastic." Examples abound: Sinbad the Sailor, fairy tales, chivalric romances. At the other end—our end—of the nineteenth century, with the psychoanalytic discovery of the unconscious, there is again no hesitation. The witness to bizarre events, or at least the reader of the story, knows them to be the creations of his or her own mind. A story then may be "strange" (étrange, inexplicably translated as "uncanny" by Richard Howard), but, again, never "fantastic," science fiction and Todorov's careless remarks about it notwithstanding. For Todorov, science-fiction is a species of the marvelous, but the sense in which "robots, extraterrestrial beings, the whole interplanetary context" are supernatural is entirely different. Here the marvelous and the strange intersect without creating that cognitive hesitation characteristic of the fantastic, for the explanation of the events, while currently impossible (we as yet know no interplanetary beings) is implicitly rational (we recognize the possibility that we will know such beings in another time). --http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/6/lemtodorov6forum.htm

From Terry Heller's 1987 Delights of Terror:

In the marvelous tale, according to Todorov, events take place that violate the reader's conceptions of natural laws, but the characters behave as if the events were normal. Both Todorov and Rabkin point out that this is the fictional world of the fairy tale. Indeed, in "Hansel and Gretel," no one questions the existence of a rich witch in the woods who builds a house out of food to trap children or of a white bird to lead the children to her or of a duck to help ferry them back home. Likewise in Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1950), there are no questions about the possibility of space travel, though it had not yet happened when the book was published. The existence of Martians, the physical conditions on Mars, the possibilities of interactions between humans and Martians -- these are just as marvelous as witches and obedient wild ducks. Bringing science fiction and fantasy into the marvelous along with fairy tales, shows the mode's extensiveness. We might go even further by mentioning the marvelous sympathy among some members of the Bundren family in Faulkner's As I Lay Dying or the marvelous power of poetic justice in Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Like Todorov's uncanny genre, his marvelous genre shades off into all of literature, where the marvelous appears in many guises, depending to some extent on what constitutes natural law for any particular cultural group. --http://www.public.coe.edu/~theller/essays/delights/dt3.html [Jun 2006]

See also: gothic novel - Todorov - fantastic literature - uncanny

2006, June 16; 19:05 ::: Madam Satan (1930) - Cecil B. DeMille

Madam Satan (1930) - Cecil B. DeMille [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Image sourced here.

See also: satan - 1930 - Cecil B. DeMille

2006, June 16; 19:05 ::: Destruction of Reason (1952) - Georg Lukács

In search of a history of irrationalism

Destruction of Reason (1952) - Georg Lukács [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

It may be postulated as a general statement that the decline of bourgeois ideology set in with the end of the 1848 revolution. Of course we can find many latecomers — especially in literature and art — for whose work this thesis by no means holds good (we need only to mention Dickens and Keller, Courbet and Daumier). --Georg Lukács, CHAPTER III, Nietzsche as Founder of Irrationalism in the Imperialist Period via http://www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/destruction-reason/ch03.htm [Jun 2006]

See also: irrational - 1952 - Marxism

2006, June 16; 19:05 ::: Imagine nothing which has not really existed

The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed. --Edgar Allan Poe, 1850

See also: Poe - 1850 - imagination

2006, June 16; 19:05 ::: Todorov and genre theory

While I am in the middle of reading Patrick Brantlinger's Bread and Circuses (1983), another little gem arrived in my mailbox yesterday: Tzvetan Todorov's The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1970). The first text it cites is Jacques Cazotte's 1772 The Devil in Love. More on him here.

From what I've read of Todorov, I liked the exposé on the concept of genre, which is a critique of Northrop Frye's concept as expounded in Anatomy of Criticism. I wonder if Todorov's concept of genre, which he developed for literature, would be equally valid in the case of film (which I suspect it is), and in the case of music (which I doubt, because most music does not rely on narrativity.)

See also: Tsvetan Todorov - Northrop Frye - genre theory

2006, June 16; 19:05 ::: Method in Madness: Control Mechanisms in the French Fantastic (2005) - Jutta Emma Fortin

Method in Madness: Control Mechanisms in the French Fantastic (2005) - Jutta Emma Fortin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

While researching Jacques Cazotte's 1772 The Devil in Love I came across the book above by Jutta Emma Fortin, which gives a round-up of all the theories explaining the fantastic in literature, including Todorov's.

Method in Madness looks at the ways in which nineteenth-century French literature of the fantastic reflected what psychoanalysis would later define as mechanisms of defence. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a particular mechanism – fetishization, projection, intellectualization, mechanization, and compulsion – and to a representative set of texts which illustrate and embody the process concerned. The book thus systematizes what has remained up to now a rather vague perception of the psychological processes at work in fantastic narrative and of the relationship between the fantastic and the emerging science of psychoanalysis. Although centred on French works, including texts by Gautier, Mérimée, Balzac, George Sand, Maupassant, and Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, the study necessarily deals with the German tradition of the fantastic, notably Hoffmann and Freud. It argues that mechanisms of defence not only take place in fantastic literature, but that the fantastic itself in fact consists in translating defence into the real, thus making clear to the reader the very processes by which defence occurs. The book finds that the defence mechanisms "fail" in the fantastic, because in this literature defence involves adding a real danger to a merely psychic one, thereby intensifying the anxiety and displeasure which the mechanisms of defence are ideally designed to minimize.

Contents Introduction History and Theories of the Fantastic The Fantastic and Psychological Defence Outline 1 Fetishization Fetishization and the Fantastic Balzac’s "Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu" Maupassant’s " La Chevelure " Gautier’s " Le Pied de momie " 2 Projection Projection and the Fantastic The Uncanny Sand’s "La Fée aux gros yeux" George Sand and Idealism Mérimée’s "Carmen" 3 Intellectualization Intellectualization and the Fantastic Mérimée’s "La Vénus d’Ille " Mérmimee’s " Carmen " 4 Mechanization Mechanization and the Fantastic Hoffmann’s "Der Sandmann" Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s L’Ève future The Mechanical Monster 5 Compulsion Compulsion and the Fantastic Maupassant’s "Madame Hermet" Maupassant’s "Fou" Conclusion Selected Bibliography

See also: Jacques Cazotte - madness - French fantastique - fantastic literature - fantastic

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Reverse chronology and literature

I can think of a novel that uses reverse chronology: Time's Arrow by Martin Amis, which I thought was pretty brilliant. And then their came Memento and Irréversible, which did the same for cinema, but not as powerfully as Amis did.

Reverse chronology is a method of story-telling whereby the plot is revealed in reverse order. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_chronology [Jun 2006]

In Times Arrow, "Amis maintains the backwards motif scrupulously, with dialogues printed in reverse order. Amis' one concession to the reader is to render the individual sentences forward) and every event described backwards." When the lead character eats, it goes like this:

"Eating is unattractive too. First I stack the clean plates in the dishwasher, which works OK, I guess . . . So far so good: then you select a soiled dish, collect some scraps from the garbage, and settle down for a short wait. Various items get gulped up into my mouth, and after skillful massage with tongue and teeth I transfer them to the plate for additional sculpture with knife and fork and spoon. That bit's quite therapeutic at least, unless you're having soup or something, which can be a real sentence. Next you face the laborious business of cooling, of reassembly, of storage, before the return of these foodstuffs to the Superette, where, admittedly, I am promptly and generously reimbursed for my pains. Then you tool down the aisles, with trolley or basket, returning each can and packet to its rightful place" (11). --Time's Arrow quoted in http://www.trinity.edu/cbrown/metaphysics/timeInFiction.html [Jun 2006]

Maybe Martin Amis is the answer to my previous question: "has cinematic time influenced time in literature?" Only the cinema of Amis's age is television. I quote from a 1994 book on television:

But a contemporary writer, Martin Amis, also comes to mind as someone who, at least in one of his novels, has taken the ambiguous experience of television time into his fiction, with the aim of fashioning from it a vision of the authentic self, giving an idea of what might be a literature after television. --Literature after Television: Author, Authority, Authenticity Thomas Elsaesser quoted in Writing for the Medium: Television in Transition (1994)

See also: Martin Amis - Irréversible - time - process philosophy

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Slowed down time and literature

Colin Wilson aptly observes in the Misfits how John Cleland in Fanny Hill had succeeded to slow down time by which he meant that "the time it takes to read [some scenes] is obviously a great deal longer than the time it took to do." He goes on to describe how Richardson had done the same in Pamela and Clarissa, assuming that

"Pamela and Clarissa became so real to the reader's imagination that we want to linger. A century and a half later, Marcel Proust will carry the same assumption to extraordinary lengths, virtually persuading the reader to abandon his normal sense of time. No writer before the time of Richardson would have dreamed of attempting such a feat: Cervantes, Lesage, Defoe, all relied on a profusion of incident to hold the reader's interest. --page 84.

Richardson and Cleland had the excuse that their era was pre-cinema, Proust wrote his most time-oriented work in In Search of Lost Time (1913 -1927) when cinema was already happening, but not during the sound film era. Is this kind of writing, which slows down time, still done? And how has cinematic time influenced time in literature?

See also: Pamela - Clarissa - Fanny Hill - literary technique - Colin Wilson - time

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) - James Weldon Johnson

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) - James Weldon Johnson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is a novel by James Weldon Johnson, published in 1912. It is a fictional account of a light-skinned black man's attempts to survive and succeed in the early 20th Century that is designed to read like an autobiography. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Autobiography_of_an_Ex-Colored_Man [Jun 2006]

See also: 1912 - white negro

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: The White African American Body: A Cultural and Literary Exploration (2002) - Charles D. Martin

In search of Circassian Beauties

The White African American Body: A Cultural and Literary Exploration (2002) - Charles D. Martin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From the Back Cover
Blacks with white skin. Since colonial times, showmen have exhibited the bodies of African Americans with white or gradually whitening skin in taverns, dime museums, and circus sideshows. The term "white Negro" has served to describe an individual born with albinism as well as those who have vitiligo, a disorder that robs the skin of its pigment in ever-growing patches. In The White African American Body, Charles D. Martin examines the proliferation of the image of the white Negro in American popular culture, from the late eighteenth century to the present day.

This enigmatic figure highlights the folly of the belief in immutable racial differences. If skin is a race marker, what does it mean for blacks literally to be white? What does this say not only about blacks but also about whites? Scientists have probed this mystery, philosophers have pondered its meaning, and artists have profited from the sale of images of these puzzling figures.

Lavishly illustrated-with many rarely seen photographs-The White African American Body shows how the white Negro occupied, and still occupies, the precarious position between white and black, and how this figure remains resilient in American culture.

In 1856, Barnum sent his agent, John Greenwood, to acquire Circassian Beauties from the slave markets of Turkey. --page 104

See also: white negro

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Twiddledum Twaddledum (1974) - Peter Spielberg

Twiddledum Twaddledum (1974) - Peter Spielberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

A half serious, half joking take-off on the traditional developmental novel. Twiddledum Twaddledum presents the fortunes and misfortunes, the adventures and misadventures of a young man in search of himslef in an absurd world where opposites are identical twins but never reconciled. Hate and love, pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, birth and death, fear and courage, lust and nausea are only surface masks beneath which we'll find, as the titlel implies, the same face. This satiric novel mirrors a schizoid world in which dangers are part actual and part imaginary; where punishment is sought yet fled from; where guilt is accepted at the same time that it is denied; where fiction and reality are interchangeable. --http://fc2.org/spielberg/twiddledum/twiddledum.htm [Jun 2006]

This book is mentioned because of a passage in which the narrator mentions Lord George's A Night in a Moorish Harem which he finds in the 42nd Street Library "doing research".

He studied the confessions of St. Augustine, Rousseau, Nat Turner, Tolstoy, Charles Lamb, Fanny Hill, a Young Man, and an English Opium Eater; the autobiographies of Cellini, Mill, Harris, Wright, Yeats, a Flea, an Ex-Colored Man, Madeleine, Trollope, and Hooker; the memoirs of Casanova, Brantôme, Martinus Scriblerus, Moll Flanders, a Midget, Wanda and Severin, Defoe, Mr. Badman, and a Lady of Pleasure; the diaries of Franz K, Virginia Woolf, Pepys, a Coxcomb, and a Chambermaid. He thumbed the Index Librorum Prohibitorum and cracked The Book of the Dead as well as Gower's Confessio Amantis, Burton's Perfumed Garden, Moore's Memoirs of my Dead Life, Wilde's De Profundis, Gorky's My Childhood, Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Lord George's A Night in a Moorish Harem, Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Bunyan's Grace Abounding, Gide's If It Die, Anonymous's My Secret Life, and Strindberg's The Confession of a Fool. Nor did he neglect the thinly fictionalized autobiographical novels of the once so popular “confession” school of writing, from Butler's The Way of All Flesh through Sacher Masoch's Venus in Furs to Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. --page 134

Google book search

See also: 42nd Street, New York City - 1974 - novel

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Movie-Struck Girls (2000) - Shelley Stamp

In search of white slavery mythology

Movie-Struck Girls (2000) - Shelley Stamp [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Tom Gunning, University of Chicago
"In this superbly researched and engagingly written volume, Shelley Stamp has covered all the bases in dealing with women and silent American cinema of the early feature era. From describing the protocol of dress and behavior for women at nickelodeons and early picture places, to providing the most thorough treatment of the white slavery scare and its effect on early filmmaking, Stamp provides a model film history, keenly aware of the images on the screen, women's political activism in relation to film, and the practices of everyday life in moviegoing. This is the book to read on women and American silent film as it established itself as an aesthetic, social, and political practice."

See also: 1900s - 1910s - silent film - white slavery - white slavery film

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Sisters in Sin : Brothel Drama in America, 1900-1920 (2006) - Katie N. Johnson

In search of white slavery mythology

Sisters in Sin : Brothel Drama in America, 1900-1920 (2006) - Katie N. Johnson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
The prostitute, and her sister in sin - the so-called 'fallen' woman - were veritable obsessions of American Progressive Era culture. Their cumulative presence, in scores of controversial theatrical productions, demonstrates the repeated obsession with the prostitute figure in both highbrow and lowbrow entertainments. As the first extended examination of such dramas during the Progressive Era, Sisters in Sin recovers a slice of theatre history in demonstrating that the prostitute was central to American realist theatre. Such plays about prostitutes were so popular that they constituted a forgotten genre - the brothel play. The brothel drama's stunning success reveals much about early twentieth-century American anxieties about sexuality, contagion, eugenics, women's rights, and urbanization. Introducing previously unexamined archival documents and unpublished play scripts, this original study argues that the body of the prostitute was a corporeal site upon which modernist desires and cultural imperatives were mapped.

About the Author
Katie N. Johnson specializes in theatre, film, and gender studies in the English Department at Miami University of Ohio where she is Associate Professor. In 2003, she was awarded the Gerald Kahan Award for best essay in the field of theatre studies by a younger scholar. Her work has appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, the Journal of American Drama and Research, American Drama, The Eugene O'Neill Review, The American Transcendental Quarterly, and the Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History.

Introduction: The Brothel Drama; Part I. The Female Performer as Prostitute: 1. Zaza: That ‘obtruding harlot’ of the stage; 2. That ‘sin-stained’ Sapho; 3. The Easiest Way and the actress-as-whore myth; Part II. Working Girls: 4. The shop girl: working girl dramas; 5. The girl shop: Mrs Warren’s Profession; Part III. Opium Dens and Urban Brothels: Staging the White Slave: 6. White slave plays in progressive American theatre; 7. Brothel anyone? Laundering the 1913 14 white slave season; Part IV. The Legitimation and Decline of the Brothel Drama: 8. Damaged Goods: sex hysteria and the Prostitute Fatale; 9. The repentant courtesan in Anna Christie and the lesbian prostitute in The God of Vengeance.

See also: 1900s - 1910s - white slavery - sin - brothel - theatre - USA

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Greek Slave (1844) - Hiram Powers

Greek Slave (1844) - Hiram Powers
Image sourced here.

Hiram Powers (1805 - 1873) was a U.S. neoclassical sculptor.

In 1843 he produced his celebrated Greek Slave, which at once gave him a place among the leading sculptors of his time. It was exhibited at the centre of the Crystal Palace Exhibition and Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a sonnet on it. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_Powers [Jun 2006]

This sculpture by Hiram Powers was perhaps the most popular American work of art at mid-century. Over one hundred thousand people paid to see it during its 1847-1848 tour around the country. Powers himself supplied this gloss on the statue's sensational subject--a woman on sale as a sexual object. --http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/sentimnt/grslvhp.html [Jun 2006]

Virginian Slave (c. 1851) - Punch satirical cartoon
Image sourced here.

The Greek Slave profoundly affected the public, leading a poet H.S.C. to begin a poem: "Naked yet clothed with chastity, / She stands." This admiring sentiment certainly seemed the more prevalent one. The Greek Slave's immense popularity allowed journalists to use it as an icon to press other issues, such as the immoral slavery in the United States with the Punch cartoon depicting the "Virginian Slave." --http://www.victorianweb.org/gender/chains.html [Jun 2006]

See also: 1844 - Greece - slave - sculpture - American art

2006, June 14; 19:05 ::: Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) - George Roy Hill

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) - George Roy Hill [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Plot Outline Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Set in 1922, the story revolves around the adventures of Millie Dillmount, who escapes to New York City from Kansas determined to get a job as a stenographer in order to marry her wealthy boss. Shedding her country girl clothing for the modern look of a "flapper", she takes a room at the Priscilla Hotel for Women, unaware it's a front for a prostitution ring. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoroughly_Modern_Millie [Jun 2006]

See also: 1922 - 1967 - roaring twenties - flapper - jazz age - white slavery

2006, June 13; 19:05 ::: Bohemian Versus Bourgeois (1964) - César Graña

Bohemian Versus Bourgeois: French society and the French man of letters in the nineteenth century (1964) - César Graña [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In the 1830s “bohemia” made its first full-dress appearance in Henri Murger’s Vie de Bohème. The writers and artists who called themselves by this name had taken it from the gypsies in part of the Habsburg domain—wanderers regarded as colorful outcasts from society. Parisian bohemia enthusiastically identified with these anti-bourgeois vagrants. Unlike the real ostracism endured by gypsies, the outcast state of the Parisian artistic fraternity would be voluntary—but they were determined to be as outcast as possible.

In his 1964 study Bohemian Versus Bourgeois César Graña shows how they claimed a more natural sympathy with other cultures than the bourgeoisie could possibly possess. They regarded the lives of the French commercial and professional classes as utterly degrading. Graña describes Stendhal’s horror of the lowness and meanness of the middle-class, and how “anyone who acquired a routine social obligation or worked at a profession received from Flaubert either casual scorn or mocking sorrow”.

This same contempt for the routine world of paid employment was pushed to an extreme by Baudelaire, whose attitude—“to be a useful person has always appeared to me to be something particularly horrible”—expressed pure aristocratic disdain.

Flaubert’s hatred for the bourgeois was at times almost maniacal. After completing his second novel Salammbo in 1862 he wrote that “It will: 1) annoy the bourgeois; 2) unnerve and shock sensitive people; 3) anger the archaeologists; 4) be unintelligible to the ladies; 5) earn me a reputation as a pederast and a cannibal. Let us hope so.” While research into sexual behavior is a normal part of anthropological inquiry, it was a personal interest in erotic experience—romantically justified as self-fulfilment—which drove literary bohemia on its escapades. -- Roger Sandall via http://www.culturecult.com/culturecult/bohemia.htm [Jun 2006]

See also: Flaubert - bohemia - bourgeois - genre theory

2006, June 13; 19:05 ::: Genre and the New Rhetoric (1995) - Aviva Freedman

Genre and the New Rhetoric (1995) - Aviva Freedman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

... my essay ‘Genre as Social Action', I claimed that a genre is a ‘cultural artefact' (Miller 1984: 164) ...--page 67, Carolyn R. Miller

See also: rethoric - genre - genre theory

2006, June 13; 19:05 ::: Kierkegaard on boredom

Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this. . . . The gods were bored, and so they created man. Adam was bored because he was alone, and so Eve was created. Thus boredom entered the world, and increased in proportion to the increase of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored together; then Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were bored en famille; then the population of the world increased, and the peoples were bored en masse. To divert themselves they conceived the idea of constructing a tower high enough to reach the heavens. This idea is itself as boring as the tower was high, and constitutes a terrible proof of how boredom gained the upper hand. --Either/Or : A Fragment of Life (1843) - Kierkegaard

See also: Kierkegaard - boredom - 1843

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