Camp Grounds

Camp Grounds

by David Bergman
     
 

The concept of camp has never been easy to define. Derived from the French verb camper, "to pose," it has been variously interpreted as a style that favors exaggeration, an ironic attitude toward the cultural mainstream, and a form of aestheticism that celebrates artifice over beauty. At the same time, camp has been long associated with homosexual culture, or at

Overview

The concept of camp has never been easy to define. Derived from the French verb camper, "to pose," it has been variously interpreted as a style that favors exaggeration, an ironic attitude toward the cultural mainstream, and a form of aestheticism that celebrates artifice over beauty. At the same time, camp has been long associated with homosexual culture, or at least with a self-conscious eroticism that questions traditional gender constructions.

The sixteen essays on camp included in this book explore further the relationship between style and homosexuality, showing how camp has made its way into every aspect of our cultural lives: theater, popular music, opera, film, and literature. Beginning with an overview of what camp is, where it came from, and how it operates, the chapter addresses topics ranging from the "high camp" of Whitman and Proust to the "low camp" of drag queen culture and gay fanzines. Together they carry forward a conversation that began more than twenty-five years ago, before Stonewall and AIDS, when Susan Sontag published her memorable "Notes on Camp."

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Sixteen essays explore the relationship between style and homosexuality, showing how camp has made its way into every aspect of cultural life: theater, popular music, opera, film, and literature. Beginning with an overview of what camp is, where it came from, and how it operates, the chapters address topics ranging from the "high camp" of Whitman and Proust to the "low camp" of drag queen culture and gay fanzines. No index. Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870238772
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
12/14/1993
Pages:
312

What People are saying about this

Claude Summers

Camp Grounds vividly illustrates the pervasiveness and usefulness of camp in literature and other arts, as well as in life, while raising intriguing questions about homosexual style.... [It] combines classic essays and current work to create an echoing chamber in which ideas about this fascinating aspect of gay life and culture reverberate. The book is an exciting and useful contribution to the burgeoning field of gay studies.

Meet the Author

David Bergman is professor of English at Towson State University and author of Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Self-Representation in American Literature, which was cited by Choice as "a landmark contribution to the developing field of gay studies."

University of Massachusetts Press

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