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ENGC15 Susan Sontag.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Pouneh Saeedi

ENGC15 Susan Sontag, Camp, Against Interpretation Camp:  Element of extravagance  Over-the-top extravagance  Not everything over-the-top is camp o If you gain some pleasure from it, it isn‟t considered camp  Associated with the ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical and the effeminate behaviour o Effeminate = she talks about the androgyny of camp  Virginia Woolf, androgyny in A Room of One‟s Own  The male and the female together o Women‟s clothes of the twenties (feather boas, fringed and beaded dresses, etc.)  Flashy and gaudy stuff o Zuleika Dobson, by Max Beerbohm, about a femme fatale prone to extravagance o Paintings by Audrey Breadsley  Surplus of flesh, the clothes, cartoonish aspect o Greta Garbo  Her androgyny makes her camp o King Kong the film  It‟s campy because of its ostentatiousness  “monstrous” = has element of showing, and we have that associated with camp, because it‟s ostentatious (ex. demonstrate)  With the camp taste of androgyny, there‟s also the exaggeration of sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms 10. Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman." To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater. 11. Camp is the triumph of the epicene style. (The convertibility of "man" and "woman," "person" and "thing.") But all style, that is, artifice, is, ultimately, epicene. Life is not stylish. Neither is nature.  Epicene = one form to mean either female or male  Dividing line in 18 century: the camp back then patronized nature or remade it into something artificial o Patronized the past  Today‟s Camp: effaces nature/contradicts it outright o Taste to the past is sentimental  The mannerism: in painting, imitated the manner of working, but not the essence and soul of it o Highly florid style and intellectual sophistication o Very flashy, excessive use of rhetoric o Could be example of camp o Highly stylized poses and no clear perspective  A person = a camp, a duplicity begins o Beyond public sense, surface, there‟s a “private zany experience of the thing” o People are influenced by their audiences, so camp cor
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