Dedication to Hunger

Dedication to Hunger

The Anorexic Aesthetic in Modern Culture

eBook - 1996
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In this passionate merging of personal history and scholarship, Leslie Heywood reveals the "anorexic logic" central to Western high culture. This logic privileges mind over body, masculine over feminine, individual over collective, control over emotion, and a realm of transcendence over the haphazardness of daily life. As clinical studies of anorexia show, this is the very logic adopted by millions of young American women today, to devastating effect.
In literature this anorexic logic is embodied in high modernism, as Heywood shows in discussions of Kafka, Pound, Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Conrad. In a compelling chapter on Jean Rhys, Heywood reveals an author struggling to develop a clean, spare, "anorexic" style in the midst of a shatteringly messy emotional life. As Heywood points out, students are trained in the aesthetic of high modernism, and academics are pressured into its straitjacket. The resulting complications are reflected in structures as diverse as gender identity formation, sexual harassment, and eating disorders. As Heywood reveals in an analysis of Nike ads and in a startling discussion of female bodybuilding, under the guise of individualism and self-determination the anorexic aesthetic confronts us every day in contemporary consumer culture.
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California, ©1996.
ISBN: 9780585041094
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 243 pages)


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