Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality

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David Bergman
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 300 pages
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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."

 

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Contents

IV
19
V
39
VI
54
VII
78
VIII
91
IX
92
X
113
XI
121
XIV
173
XV
185
XVI
206
XVII
234
XVIII
257
XIX
259
XX
268
XXI
282

XII
134
XIII
156
XXII
299
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Page 11 - The replication of heterosexual constructs in non-heterosexual frames brings into relief the utterly constructed status of the so-called heterosexual original. Thus, gay is to straight not as copy is to original, but, rather, as copy is to copy.

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About the author (1993)

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."

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