Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition / Edition 1

Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition / Edition 1

by Richard Keller Simon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520222237

ISBN-13: 9780520222236

Pub. Date: 11/23/1999

Publisher: University of California Press

Seinfeld as a contemporary adaptation of Etherege's Restoration comedy of manners The Man of Mode?

Friends as a reworking of Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing?

Star Wars as an adaptation of Spenser's epic poem, The Faerie Queene?

The popular culture that surrounds us in our daily lives bears a

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Overview

Seinfeld as a contemporary adaptation of Etherege's Restoration comedy of manners The Man of Mode?

Friends as a reworking of Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing?

Star Wars as an adaptation of Spenser's epic poem, The Faerie Queene?

The popular culture that surrounds us in our daily lives bears a striking similarity to some of the great works of literature of the past.
In television, movies, magazines, and advertisements we are exposed to many of the same stories as those critics who study the great books of Western literature, but we have simply been encouraged to look at those stories differently.


In Trash Culture, Richard K. Simon examines the ways in which the great literature and cultural work of the past has been rewritten for today's consumer society, with supermarket tabloids such as The National Enquirer and celebrity gossip magazines like People serving as contemporary versions of the great dramatic tragedies of the past. Today's advertising repeats the tale of the Golden Age, but inverts the value system of a classic utopia; the shopping mall combines bits and pieces of the great garden styles of Western history, and now adds consumer goods; Playboy magazine revises Castiglione's Renaissance courtesy book, The Book of the Courtier; and Cosmopolitan magazine revises the women's coming-of-age novels of Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, and Edith Wharton.

Trash Culture concludes that the great books are alive and well, but simply hidden from the critics. It argues for the linking of high and low for the study and appreciation of each form of literature, and the importance of teaching popular culture alongside books of the great tradition in order to understand the critical context in which the books appear.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520222236
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/23/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
199
Sales rank:
1,401,150
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Trash and Literature1
2The Critical Context14
Pt. 1Case Studies
3Star Wars and The Faerie Queene29
4The Trash Talk Show38
5Friends, Seinfeld, and Days of Our Lives44
6Tragedy, the Enquirer, and the Critics58
Pt. 2Values
7Advertising and Utopia77
8The Shopping Mall and the Formal Garden91
9Playboy and The Book of the Courtier101
10Cosmopolitan and the Woman's Coming-of-Age Novel117
Pt. 3History
11Star Trek, Gulliver's Travels, and the Problem of History139
12The Great Books in Vietnam153
13Matthew Arnold Meets Godzilla175
Works Cited179
Index185

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