Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition
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.
The Critical Context
Star Wars and The Faerie Queene
The Trash Talk Show
Friends Seinfeld and Days of Our Lives
Tragedy the Enquirer and the Critics
Playboy and The Book of the Courtier
Cosmopolitan and the Womans ComingofAge Novel
Star Trek Gullivers Travels and the Problem of History
The Great Books in Vietnam
Matthew Arnold Meets Godzilla
Advertising and Utopia
The Shopping Mall and the Formal Garden
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adtopia advertising American appear argues asks audience beautiful become beginning century characters close comes complex concerns consumer contemporary Cosmopolitan course Courtier critics culture Days death desire destroyed Enquirer evil experience explains face Faerie Queene fall fantasy finally follows forces friends garden give Gulliver Gulliver's Home human ideal Iliad images important individual interesting issue kills kind literary literature lives look Lucas Luke magazine mall married meaning move nature needs never novel past play Playboy pleasure plot popular present problems Rambo reader relationship romance sense sexual similar society soldier Star Trek Star Wars story suffering tabloids television tells things tradition tragedy tragic Travels turn understand University Utopia values Vietnam voyage woman women writes young
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Theatres of Human Sacrifice: From Ancient Ritual to Screen Violence
No preview available - 2004