Camp in Literature

Overview

What does camp look like as a style of writing, and why has a canon of camp writers never been compiled? Because camp has never been addressed as a literary genre—until now. This book explores the history of camp in literature, showcasing its merit and demonstrating that seriousness is not the only path to truth and meaning.

The first part of the book is thematically organized, applying the principles of camp aesthetics to novels, short stories, essays, memoir, and poetry. ...

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Overview

What does camp look like as a style of writing, and why has a canon of camp writers never been compiled? Because camp has never been addressed as a literary genre—until now. This book explores the history of camp in literature, showcasing its merit and demonstrating that seriousness is not the only path to truth and meaning.

The first part of the book is thematically organized, applying the principles of camp aesthetics to novels, short stories, essays, memoir, and poetry. Authors discussed include Aubrey Beardsley, Amanda McKittrick Ros, Noel Coward, Saki, Christopher Isherwood, and many more. Themes include the juxtaposition of the domestic with the fantastic—the elevation of the most banal, domestic details to fantastic possibilities, and vice versa. Part two features six writers—Oscar Wilde, Ronald Firbank, Quentin Crisp, Juan Goytisolo, Chloe Poems, and the much-maligned Edward D. Wood—and compares the various camp elements in their work.

Through Camp in Literature we discover how this quaint style offers canny insight into the modern world, and how a theatrical view from the wings reveals the propaganda of spin-doctored politics, news media, and even literary criticism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786424665
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/21/2006
  • Pages: 313
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary McMahon lives in Manchester, England, where he lectures and writes. He wrote Kurt Vonnegut and the Centrifugal Force of Fate (McFarland, 2009), and his articles have appeared in Sight and Sound in London and Stop Smiling in Chicago.

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