Traditional Kitsch and the Janus-Head of Comfort

In Justyna Stępień (ed.), Redefining Kitsch and Camp in Literature and Culture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 23-38 (2014)
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Abstract

"C.E. Emmer’s article addresses the ongoing debates over how to classify and understand kitsch, from the inception of postmodern culture onwards. It is suggested that the lack of clear distinction between fine art and popular culture generates 'approaches to kitsch – what we might call 'deflationary' approaches – that conspire to create the impression that, ultimately, either 'kitsch' should be abandoned as a concept altogether, or we should simply abandon ourselves to enjoying kitschy objects as kitsch.' The author offers critical insight into 'kitschy' items made in response to 9/11 and tries to examine the reception of these products through scrutinizing a selection of remarks posted by the Internet commentators." Editor Justyna Stępień's summary from her introduction to Redefining Kitsch and Camp in Literature and Culture (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), p. 2. The final pages of the chapter analyze the seemingly sweet landscape paintings of Thomas Kinkade to show the spirit of revenge their Christian coding can conceal.

Author's Profile

C. E. Emmer
Emporia State University

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