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Related: counterculture - détournement - opposition - parody - rebellion - resistance - transgression

Titles: Film As a Subversive Art (1974)

Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Commenting on the subversive qualities of book reading, Stéphane Mallarmé is quoted as saying "Je ne sais pas d'autre bombe, qu'un livre." (I know of no bomb other than the book.) [Apr 2006]

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities” (Erica Jong)

Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film (1989) - Robert Stam
[FR] [DE] [UK]

See Robert Stam

Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion (1981) - Rosemary Jackson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See Rosemary Jackson


Intended or serving to subvert, especially intended to overthrow or undermine an established government:

See rebellion, sabotage and insurgency for information on the undermining of authority. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversion [Feb 2005]

Subversion (political)

Subversion is an overturning or uprooting. The word is present in all languages of Latin origin, originally applying to such diverse events as the military defeat of a city.

As early as the 14th century, it was being used in the English language with reference to laws, and in the 15th century came to be used with respect to the realm. This is the origin of its modern use, which refers to attempts to overthrow structures of authority, including the state. In this respect, it has taken over from ‘sedition’ as the name for illicit rebellion, though the connotations of the two words are rather different, sedition suggesting overt attacks on institutions, subversion something much more surreptitious, such as eroding the basis of belief in the status quo or setting people against each other.

Subversive activity is the lending of aid, comfort, and moral support to individuals, groups, or organizations that advocate the overthrow of incumbent governments by force and violence. All willful acts that are intended to be detrimental to the best interests of the government and that do not fall into the categories of treason, sedition, sabotage, or espionage are placed in the category of subversive activity.

Recent writers, in the post-modern and post-structuralist traditions (including, particularly, feminist writers) have prescribed a very broad form of subversion. It is not, directly, the realm which should be subverted in their view, but the predominant cultural forces, such as patriarchy, individualism, and scientific rationalism. This broadening of the target of subversion owes much to the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, who stressed that communist revolution required the erosion of the particular form of ‘cultural hegemony’ in any society. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversion_%28political%29 [Jan 2006]


Subvertising refers to the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements in order to make a statement. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subvertising. See also: http://adbusters.org/spoofads/

Pornography and subversion

Anonymous caricature
image sourced here.

This particular caricature is a great example of the change of pornography’s role in terms of both political and religious subversion. It was distributed anonymously throughout the new republic and was intended as a double insult. This person featured was both a politician and member of the clergy. --Marianna Beck via http://www.libidomag.com/nakedbrunch/europorn04.html [May 2005]

In its earliest incarnation in 16th- and 17th-century European literature, pornography’s primary goal was subversion, developing largely out of a need for artists and writers to push political boundaries. What better way to draw attention to a corrupt church official or politician than to show him in an erect state, about to have sex with a nun? During the French Revolution, a pamphlet depicting Queen Marie-Antoinette in the midst of an orgy was a powerful, if not misogynistic, way to incite a starving mob already enraged over aristocratic excess. --Marianna Beck via http://www.libidomag.com/nakedbrunch/archive/europorn01.html [May 2005]

see also: pornography

Subversive Words (1994) - Arlette Farge

Subversive Words: Public Opinion in 18th Century France (1994) - Arlette Farge [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
Farge clearly recognizes the danger of writing about public opinion in 18th-century France: ``that of setting out to find, in an eighteenth century which we know ended in revolution, a current of hostile opinion becoming continually stronger until it naturally reaches the upsurge of 1789.'' Probably more important than the piggy-backed episodes of hostility Farge records is the changing attitude to the whole idea of a popular opinion in the first place. Over the course of the century, popular opinion went from something that was officially considered nonexistent to an increasingly powerful political force.

Farge draws not only on well-known memoirs but on the ephemeral news-sheets and the gazetins, the reports of police observers and spies popularly called mouches (flies) culled from the old Bastille archives. Starting in 1713 with the anti-Jansenist papal bull Unigenitus and continuing on through Damiens's attack on Louis XV in 1758, public reaction returned time and again to the abuse of power in the first case and to the vulnerability of the king in the second. If Farge is leery of interpreting the events of the first half of the century as leading inexorably up to the second, her account still gives an intriguing look into a volatile but important factor in the formation of modern French history. --Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

see also: 1700s

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