Eye On The Flesh: Fashions Of Masculinity In The Early Twentieth Century
When do our bodies cease to be ours alone? At what point and under what political and social circumstances do our bodies become the subtle, but no less complete, inscription of the will of another person, an institution, or a state? Maurizia Boscagli analyzes the early twentieth-century transformation of the male body from Forster's “unassuming black-coated clerk” and Eliot's “young man carbuncular” to the brutal, tanned musculature of fascism. She argues that this new male superman corporeality corresponded precisely with the rise of early mass consumer culture—generally associated with the female—and the advent of fascism. This mechanistic, polished, and vigorous male creature inevitably became an object of political and economic obedience and conformity, and in the concept of “the national body,” a fighting machine.Boscagli takes the reader on a highly informed, literary, and cultural excursion through European culture between 1880 and 1930. She stops for long, enlightening looks at Oscar Wilde and The Picture of Dorian Gray, the Good War and the poet Rupert Brooke, Baden-Powell and the British Boy Scouts, and the primitive in D. H. Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent. This erudite study about our obsessions with male physical perfection undergirds and explains the late-twentieth-century preoccupation with exercise, athletics, diet, and consumerism.
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Primitivist Bodies Native Clothing
Supermen Office Clerks
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aesthete aesthete's aestheticism animal Aschenbach beauty becomes blond beast British Burroughs classical clerk clothes commodity commodity fetishism consumer consumption corporeality D. H. Lawrence dandy Death in Venice deployed discourse display Dorian Gray early twentieth century encoded erotic eroticism Eugen Sandow eugenicist eugenics excess expenditure fantasy female feminine fetishism figure fin de siècle function Futurist gender gesture Greek statue hero homoerotic homoerotic desire homoeroticism homosexual Howard's End human icon ideal identity ideology interpellation kitsch Lawrence Leiris Leiris's libidinal Lobengula machine Mafarka male body male masochism male subject manliness Marinetti masculinity masochism masochistic mass middle class modern modernist muscles narrative native nature Nietzsche Nietzschean Nietzschean body Nietzschean superman novel object Pater petty bourgeois phallic photographs physical physique pleasure poses produced representation represented Rupert Brooke Sandow sentimental sexuality signified social space spectacle strongman structure superman Tadzio Tarzan tion transgressive turn virility Wandervogel Wilde Wilde's Winckelmann woman women