How do music videos operate ideologically? Discuss within the bounds of a textual analysis on a particular musician or band and their representation of gender, ethnicity, class or sexuality in their videos.

There are very apparent ideologies projected in the hip-hop genre, and are undeniably evident in their music videos. Nas’s song Nasty is accompanied by a video that typifies the main ideologies of the hip hop scene, as well as marking a change from principles displayed in early hip-hop. The video opens with an introduction to a live Nas show from the stage perspective, looking into the audience. When the song begins we see shots of him in a recording booth. The main sequence begins with Nas in a limousine with two females, then he gets out on the street with an extensive gang of boys awaiting him. He walks through the ‘hood’, shaking hands with many of these young men, some of them children. He takes off his expensive-looking jacket to reveal a plain white vest. As he reaches the end of the street he turns and makes his way into the recording booth. This essay will explore how class and economics are presented as the main ideologies in many hip-hop videos, with the specific example of Nas’s Nasty video. I will be problematizing such a reading of music videos as signifiers of cultural ideologies with an ethnographic approach.

 

Hip-hop subculture has one of the most recognisable ideological leanings, with the rags-to-riches ideal being chiefly prominent. Nasty and other similar music videos adhere to this fundamental capitalist logic of meritocracy. However, it subverts the dominant American Dream ideology in place of an attainable dream for members of the subordinated classes and ethnicities. The video’s setting in the inner-city streets of New York denotes the importance of territoriality in hip-hop. Forman talks about how this territoriality represents capitalist ideologies that are driven by a market logic and customer base[1]. Indeed, both gang-affiliated and geographical spatiality show how this subculture revolves around a monetary mentality, which is also mirrored by the genre’s associations with the drug trade. This is exemplified in Nas’s video, as he displays his material prosperity with jewels, money, clothes and champagne. The fact that the young boys in the video evidently look up to Nas as they keenly look on when he arrives in his chauffeur-driven limousine depicts how economic capital is key to the definition of success. The video depicts an aspiration towards entrepreneurship outside the dominant culture; such an ideology projects anti-establishment sentiment, rejecting the importance of education and class and providing aspirations of alternative culture capital.

 

This emphasis on economic rather than class mobility is portrayed as authentic hip-hop ideology; preserving a working-class aesthetic with economic advancement shows Nas remaining in his class and staying true to his roots. When he strips off his expensive jacket to reveal a white vest, he demonstrates this adherence to the working-class aesthetic. He maintains his style, handshake, walk and typical hip-hop gestures. A semiotic analysis of this habitus shows how they act as signifiers for hip-hop authenticity and therefore its associated ideologies. Furthermore, the fact that he walks through the ‘hood’ provides a signification of spatiality. Forman speaks of ‘how the dynamics of space, place and race get taken up by rap artists as themes and topics’[2]. Certainly, through this setting, Nas is authenticating his place in the genre, and an adherence to the allied ideologies.

However, with the intertextual knowledge of Nas’s rise to fame and wealth, one may note ideological changes his earlier videos. He is now more part of Adorno and Horkheimer’s concept of the culture industry[3] than part of the subculture he represents. His old songs were about persevering to become successful, and his videos portrayed him spatially in his ‘hood’, in which he seemed to fit. The Nasty video places him in the same space, but with a very different relationship to this environment- as an ‘other’, although a revered other. This presents a limitation of the socio-economic ideologies of hip-hop, as there remains the dichotomy of remaining true to one’s roots but having to buy into the culture industry in order to rise ‘out of the ghetto’. This marks a change from early hip-hop, when economic imperatives were virtually non-existent due to the lack of long-term financial prospect of the genre, as well as the lack of career aspirations within this community- ‘getting out the ghetto’ was and is seen as a futile feat to many due to prejudices and class exclusivity. Now that in recent years the scene has shown colossal profitability, the ideologies have changed from voicing socio-political concerns to the display of wealth and a certain image of the tough, narcissistic, entrepreneurial pimp stereotype that is so prevalent in hip-hop. The occasional nod to humble beginnings, such as in this video, is evidently all that is needed to remain ‘authentic’ and to commodify the working-class aesthetic.    

Barthes’s concept of ‘myth’ describes ‘a peculiar system in that it is constructed from a semiological chain which existed before it’[4]. To this extent, our ideas of Nas are shaped by intertextual knowledge. This video also fits into a canon that makes up the wider ‘myth’ surrounding the African-American community of inner city New York- such mainstream hip-hop videos shapes how the mass market views the subculture.

 

This structuralist reliance on textual analysis limits the study of music videos as it disregards actual experience and reception. Nigel Thrift’s approach of non-representational theory[5] looks at the significance of the Deleuzian concept of affect[6] in such an analysis; that is, how the viewers personally respond to the video. Semiotic approach of analysis is problematic, as such music videos are mediated by dominant culture that controls media and therefore the production of hegemonic ideology. Certainly, popular hip-hop is presented to mainstream audience as an ‘exotic other’, as Edward Said would put it[7]; a socially constructed representation. Therefore, we must look to this embodied reaction for a truer reading of the video and the ideologies it imparts. Indeed, Anike writes that the ‘criteria of hip hop authenticity is rather complex and therefore a more appropriate way to describe it is a deep spiritual, emotional, or personal connection an individual feels towards a specific artist or performance’[8]. The ethnographic evidence found in the comments left on the video on YouTube depicts a drawn-out argument on who is the best hip-hop rapper of all time: ‘nas is the best storyteller and rakim best lyricist. Rakim is the god and nas is god´s son’[9]. This links to Fiske’s discussion of fan distinction and discrimination[10] and the theory that fandom is about a sense of belonging rather than explicit ideological implications. As Adorno and Horkheimer would see it, the viewers ‘seek novelty, but the strain and boredom associated with actual work leads to avoidance of effort in that leisure time which offers the only chance for really new experience. As a substitute, they crave a stimulant’[11]. Indeed, ideological readings are not necessarily directly taken from this type of video. Moreover, Nas is representing a minority subculture, while the majority of his consumers are from outside of it, passively indulging for the novelty of the aesthetic for an escape from the constraints of their own culture, or for the gaining of subcultural capital in place of the lack of dominant cultural capital. Sarah Thornton corroborates this idea, claiming that ‘fantasies of identity are key to pleasure’[12]. Undoubtedly, such a fantasy exists outside of reality and real-world issues of ideological debate. Thus, learned cultural responses to music videos may be subverted by a study of the pre-cognitive affect in which ideological issues are less considered than passive entertainment.

 

Evidently, the bourgeois idea of cognitive connection to culture is seemingly unfitting for a study of popular music; instead the focus is on pleasure, not critical analysis. As Andrew Britton explores the concept of Hollywood blockbusters, so too is popular music to be ‘consumed’ rather than ‘read’ with the postmodern logic of spectacle over content[13]. Nonetheless, music videos do operate ideologically; the Nasty video adds to the ‘myth’ of hip-hop ideology, particularly with regard to the economic goals and class authenticity.  It may therefore be concluded that, as Said claims, ‘the reader is a full participant in the production of meaning, being obliged as a moral thing to act, to produce some sense’[14], indicating that music videos operate ideologically only to the extent to which the viewer interpolates it.

 


[1] Murray Forman, ‘’Represent’: Race, Space and Place in Rap Music’ in Popular Music, vol.19, no.1, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), http://www.jstor.org/stable/853712 [accessed 20.05.13], p. 67.

[2] Murray Forman, ‘’Represent’: Race, Space and Place in Rap Music’ in Popular Music, vol.19, no.1, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), http://www.jstor.org/stable/853712 [accessed 20.05.13], p. 66.

[3] Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, (Stanford University Press: 2002).

[4] Roland Barthes, Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), p. 114.

[5] Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect, (Oxon: Routledge, 2008).

[6] Gilles Deleuze, ‘Part III, Proposition 56: Spinoza, Benedictus de’, Ethics. Trans. by W.H. White and A.H. Stirling, (London: Wordsworth, 2001 [1677]). 

[7] Edward W. Said, Orientalism. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

[8] Stephanie Anike, Hip Hop’s Masked Authenticity, (Rutgers University) dialogues.rutgers.edu/all-journals/…/140-hip-hop-s-masked-authenticity‎, [accessed 01.06.13], p. 2.

[9] ado2700, YoutTube.com: Nasty by Nas, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo97R0ib1CE [accessed 01.06.13].

[10] John Fiske, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom,” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lisa A. Lewis, (New York: Routledge, 1992), p. 36.

[11] Theodor Adorno, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002), p. 459.

[12] Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1996), p. 91. 

[13] Andrew Britton, Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, edited by Barry Keith Grant, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009).

[14] Said, Edward The World, the Text and the Critic (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts 1983) p 41.

Bibliography

Adorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, (Stanford University Press: 2002).

Adorno, Theodor, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002).

Anike, Stephanie, Hip Hop’s Masked Authenticity, (Rutgers University) dialogues.rutgers.edu/all-journals/…/140-hip-hop-s-masked-authenticity‎, [accessed 01.06.13].

Barthes, Roland, Elements of Semiology, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1968 [1964].

Barthes, Roland, Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972).

Britton, Andrew, Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, edited by Barry Keith Grant, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009).

Fiske, John, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom,” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lisa A. Lewis, (New York: Routledge, 1992).

Forman, Murray, ‘’Represent’: Race, Space and Place in Rap Music’ in Popular Music, vol.19, no.1, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), http://www.jstor.org/stable/853712 [accessed 20.05.13].

Thornton, Sarah, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1996). 

Thrift, Nigel, Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect, (Oxon: Routledge, 2008).

Said, Edward, The World, the Text and the Critic (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts 1983).

Said, Edward W., Orientalism. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

ado2700, YoutTube.com: Nasty by Nas, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo97R0ib1CE [accessed 01.06.13].

“One of the striking features of nineteenth century American literature is the number of women who turned to writing for income and self-expression. In the process, they established a tradition of writing that is more grounded in domestic than is men’s writing, a tradition that focuses on community and family and which uses sentiment and/or emotion to explore fundamental truths and moral issues”. Discuss.

Jane Tompkins writes on how nineteenth century domestic novels characterise ‘a monumental effort to reorganize culture from the woman’s point of view…in certain cases, it offers a critique of American society far more devastating than any delivered by better-known critics such as Hawthorne and Melville’[1]. Indeed, both Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Awakening seem to adhere to this tradition, though on differing tangents of realism and sentimentalism. I will be scrutinizing these texts as branches of the domestic tradition, and will be assessing their respective effectiveness in terms of social discourse. I will be investigating how affect theory applies to the use of emotion in female writing, and how that provided a new dimension to social criticism in American literature through its acknowledgment that emotions are vital to moral judgment.

 

Due to its mass popularity and emotive style there have ever been connotations of domestic female writing with non-literary, indulgent, passive consumption. Tompkins corroborates this, speaking of how popularity is often equated with degradation, emotion with ineptitude and domesticity with insignificance[2]. These female writers are thought to have used ‘false stereotypes, dishing out weak-minded pap to nourish the prejudices of an ill-educated and underemployed female readership’[3]. The idea of stereotyping is certainly true of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, yet such a claim is problematized with the example of the more elliptical writing style in The Awakening. This is where the tradition divides into realism and sentimentalism; though using different styles both use emotion and include the theme of the primacy of human connection and emotion in moral judgment, valorising the concept of affectional experience.

Certainly, the Deleuzian concept of affect distinguishes how such a tradition offers a new dimension to social criticism. Affects are states of mind and body related to feelings and emotions, made up of pleasure or joy, pain or sorrow and desire or appetite[4]. This non-cognitive reaction arguably determines a certain moral coding. Thus, art that has this effect can discover new truths otherwise lost in rigid logic. Undeniably, social issues including slavery and female oppression can only truly be dealt with in relation to moral judgments determined by emotional experience. Shaun Nichols writes about emotivism, the idea of expressing rather than reporting one’s feelings[5]. He claims that ‘sentimental accounts are supposed to give a more accurate rendering of moral judgment on the ground, as opposed to the disconnected, emaciated characterization of moral judgment promoted by some in the rationalist tradition’[6]. Indeed, this emotive reflection on human morals seems to bring additional degrees of empathy and therefore affect for the reader.

This affect is exploited in varied ways in the realist and sentimentalist traditions, being affecting to different readerships and effective in different ways. Uncle Tom’s Cabin deals with the ways in which women can be political actors through their capacity for expression and compassion; in fact, the writing of the book was a political act in itself. Meanwhile, The Awakening is about the self-expression and liberation of women on a personal level. To this extent, they are respectively apt for realism/sentimentalism as they act on different scales.

 

Contemporary reaction to The Awakening saw much critical hostility. Certainly, at a time when one could not openly express such deviances from the patriarchal structure and sexual inclinations, this naturalistic representation resonated deeply with its readers. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that much of Edna’s story stems from Chopin’s own thoughts on female liberation and independence, as she read much feminist writing and wrote in her diaries of her resentment towards various social obligations she held as a woman[7]. This is portrayed when Edna gets up in the middle of the night and ‘she could not have told why she was crying’[8]. The unembellished depiction of a woman’s unarticulated and unheard strife provides significant potential for affect in the reader, speaking to the supressed voice of women and giving them agency to express themselves by depicting how they are not alone, that Edna too ‘had all her life long been accustomed to harbour thoughts and emotions which never voiced themselves.’[9]

Lawrence Thornton refers to the novel as a ‘political romance’[10]. Indeed, Chopin chapters Edna’s liberation not just socio-politically, on a literal level, but emotionally, on a sentimental level. In other words, the hybridity of realism and sentimentality creates a new category of social commentary; there is a move from observational realism to the realism of embodied desire. Being influenced by Darwinist thinking, Chopin uses The Awakening to portray the dominance of humans’ natural instincts, and thus providing a study of the fundamental truth that humans cannot repress their sexual desires, despite social constrictions. In the process, critiques of the institution of marriage, motherhood and Christianity are implicitly explored with this view of emotional liberation. 

Sandra Gilbert writes that ‘Edna’s ‘awakenings’ become increasingly fantastic and poetic, stirrings of the imagination’s desire for ‘amplitude and awe’ rather than protests of the reason against unreasonable constraint’[11]. It is evident that such an emotive category of expression was needed during this period of oppression. She goes on to says that the passage in which Edna learns to swim is symbolic not just of her move towards liberation and independence, but of the novel itself from a realist text into ‘a distinctively female fantasy of paradisal fulfilment’[12]. Certainly, it is evident that the observational, literal and descriptive style of the novel changes to one of philosophical pondering, metaphorical imagery and erotic implications, marking Chopin’s rejection of the male-dominated style of realism and ultimately the male-dominated society. Notwithstanding the novel retains its naturalistic plot, thus preserving credibility and resonance.

The sentimental aspects, for instance when she refers to the night of her first ‘awakening’ as ‘like a night in a dream’ and goes on to remark that ‘there must be spirits abroad tonight’[13], despite being dramatized, draws on realistic sentiment, making it therefore more naturalistic in its affect. The fantastical imagery provided of Edna’s dinner party and her feeling like a ‘regal woman, the one who rules’ seems adverse to the realistic tone of the novel, yet it touches on realistic emotion and the real fantasy of empowerment. Furthermore, when she asks how many years she slept in Madame Antoine’s bed, it provides almost a fairy tale image, but reflects feelings of passion that are the reality of female existence. Finally, the symbolism and ceremony of her martyrdom may seem theatricalised, but it is not unthinkable to consider such a situation to be true, and such suicidal sentiments are tangible to a subordinated audience.

 

Sentimental novels are often seen as being inherently false in sentiment, or as James Baldwin puts it, ‘fantasies, connecting nowhere with reality, sentimental’[14]. Yet this may be contested, as Beecher Stowe does draw on own experience of the loss of a child and personal feelings of attachment and empathy. She seems to appropriate such emotions to the large-scale issue of slavery; indeed, separation and loss were true factors of the slave trade, meaning the novel does not consist of ‘fantasies connecting nowhere with reality’, but with actual emotional ramifications of the industry.

Incidents and injustices in Uncle Tom’s Cabin are not exaggerated in themselves, but the superficial stock characters and situations are dramatised, which could be seen as inauthentic and potentially less sympathetic. Certainly, Baldwin remarks that sentimentalism adheres to ‘the formula created by the necessity to find a lie more palatable than the truth’[15]. The unnaturalistic portrayal does makes the story more palatable, yet it may also be viewed as more sympathetic to those who had not considered the humanity of the black characters, meaning exaggeration is needed in order to explicitly subvert dominant prejudices. In other words, it needs to be made palatable to a wide audience that would be adverse to such claims as the humanity of slaves; these theatrical clichés provide an accessible comprehension, universality and plausibility for mass readership. Dobson corroborates this, noting ‘an emphasis on accessible language, a clear prose style, and familiar lyric and narrative patterns defines an aesthetic whose primary quality of transparency is generated by a valorisation of connection, an impulse toward communication with as wide an audience as possible’[16]. For example the lack of subtlety that describes Eva’s death, and the clichéd gesture of the Senator and his wife giving away their dead child’s clothes easily and simply conveys the theme of empathy, denoting the striving for affect in the reader. This differs in The Awakening in which metaphors are more commonly used than direct narrative guidance.

Furthermore, the episode with the Senator and his wife depicts the effectiveness and resonance of sentimentalism. Mr. Bird’s decision to help is completely understandable to the reader as they have already established sympathy with Eliza and her child. Mrs. Bird unequivocally sums up the moral of this passage: ‘”Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John.”’[17] Thus, she draws attention to the significance of emotion in political judgment. George Orwell corroborates the effects of this cliché/truth dichotomy, claiming that ‘it is an unintentionally ludicrous book, full of preposterous melodramatic incidents; it is also deeply moving and essentially true’[18]. Ultimately, because of the sub-human status of African-Americans during this time, it could be seen that such hyper-sentimentality and guided narrative is needed in order to forcibly provoke a new perspective.

 

Together these subgenres make up the domestic tradition, with Beecher Stowe looking at the institution of slavery from the domestic and emotional point of view, while Chopin explores female public standing from the private and psychological point of view. Indeed, contemporary women were placed in the domestic sphere by society, meaning domestic references and familial, emotional ties represent all they held in their agency to explore moral and social issues. These features were nonetheless poignant and effective in their own right. The use of domestic scenes, for instance the family home and dinner parties, are used as signifiers for the common, making such instances accessible to a wide audience (inclusive of male and female) and more personally affecting than institutional settings. Yet, communal issues have an effect on these domestic issues (for example, family separation in slavery and the oppression of women in marriage and society), thus this presentation of the domestic sheds light on the effects of the communal, depicting how this tradition brought a new way of critiquing society.

This new form of social criticism was met with fierce denunciation, with Willa Cather writing about such authors as ‘women of strong and fine intuitions, but without the faculty of observation, comparison, reasoning about things’[19]. This condemnation of the use of emotions rather than rationale to explore fundamental truths and moral issues may be contested with the argument that with realism in The Awakening Chopin observes, compares and reasons with female emotion as Edna begins to recognise ‘her position in the universe as a human being, and…her relation as an individual to the world within and about her’[20], while Uncle Tom’s Cabin draws on true sentiment and judgment, although presented in a hyper-emotive style. Furthermore, Dobson claims that sentimental texts ‘do not wallow in excessive emotionality; rather, they represent an essential reality and must be treated with heightened feeling’[21]. Although true of both texts, Uncle Tom’s Cabin may be seen to ‘wallow’ in its emotion, but this merely denotes a need for even more heightened feeling, as it is dealing with an industrial issue rather than a personal one.

 

Ultimately, the use of domesticity and emotion shed a new light on the state of American society, being able to affect readers in a different way. As Dobson writes: ‘in a world of mortality, of absolute and certain loss…a body of literature giving primacy to affectional connections and responsibilities still reflects the dilemmas, anxieties, and tragedies of individual lives’[22]. To this extent, this tradition was able to appropriate such sentiments to national social issues, suggesting an adoption of emotional investment in the formation of moral judgment. Their respective positions in the canon of American literature proves their worth in terms of the development of the nation using the domestic style.

 

Word Count: 2018

 

 

[1] Jane Tompkins, “Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Politics of Literary History” in Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860, (New York: Oxford U P, 1985), p. 83.

[2] Ibid, p. 82.

[3] Ibid, p. 83.

[4] Gilles Deleuze, ‘Part III, Proposition 56: Spinoza, Benedictus de’, Ethics. Trans. by W.H. White and A.H. Stirling, (London: Wordsworth, 2001 [1677]). 

[5] Shaun Nichols, ‘Sentimentalism Naturalised’ in The Psychology and Biology of Morality ed. W. Sinnott-Armstrong, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), p. 1.

[6] Ibid, p. 4.

[7] Sandra M. Gilbert, ‘Introduction: The Second Coming of Aphrodite’ in The Awakening and Selected Stories, ed. Sandra M. Gilbert, (New York and London: Penguin, 2003), p. 11.

[8] Kate Chopin, The Awakening and Selected Stories, (New York and London: Penguin, 2003), p. 49.

[9] Chopin, p. 96-7.

[10] Lawrence Thornton, ‘The Awakening: A Political Romance’ in American Literature, (Montana: Duke University Press, 1980), p. 1.

[11] Gilbert, p. 25.

[12] Gilbert, p. 17.

[13] Chopin, p. 74.

[14] James Baldwin, ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’ in Collected Essays, (The Library of America, 1998), p. 16.

[15] Baldwin, p. 13.

[16] Joanne Dobson, ‘Reclaiming Sentimental Literature’ in American Literature, volume 69, Number 2, (Duke University Press, June 1997), p. 286.

[17] Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (London: Wordsworth Classics, 1999), p. 76.

[18] George Orwell: ‘Good Bad Books’ First published: Tribune. — GB, London. — November 1945.

[19] Willa Cather, Pittsburgh Leader, 8 July 1899, Margo Culley, ed., The Awakening, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994 [1899]), p. 170.

[20] Chopin, p. 57.

[21] Dobson, p. 272-3.

[22] Ibid, p. 280.

Bibliography:

Bakhtin, Mikhail, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creations of a Prosaics, ed.s Gary Saul Morson, Emerson, Cary, (California: Stanford University Press, 1990).

Baldwin, James, ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’ in Collected Essays, (The Library of America, 1998).

Beecher Stowe, Harriet, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (London: Wordsworth Classics, 1999).

 

Cather, Willa, Pittsburgh Leader, 8 July 1899, Margo Culley, ed., The Awakening, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994 [1899]), p. 170.

Chopin, Kate, The Awakening and Selected Stories, (New York and London: Penguin, 2003).

Deleuze, Gilles, ‘Part III, Proposition 56: Spinoza, Benedictus de’, Ethics. Trans. by W.H. White and A.H. Stirling, (London: Wordsworth, 2001 [1677]). 

Dobson, Joanne, ‘Reclaiming Sentimental Literature’ in American Literature, volume 69, Number 2, (Duke University Press, June 1997).

Gilbert, Sandra M., ‘Introduction: The Second Coming of Aphrodite’ in The Awakening and Selected Stories, ed. Sandra M. Gilbert, (New York and London: Penguin, 2003).

Nichols, Shaun, ‘Sentimentalism Naturalised’ in The Psychology and Biology of Morality ed. W. Sinnott-Armstrong, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004).

Orwell, George, ‘Good Bad Books’ in Tribune, (London, November 1945).

Thornton, Lawrence, ‘The Awakening: A Political Romance’ in American Literature, (Montana: Duke University Press, 1980).

Tompkins, Jane, “Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Politics of Literary History” in Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860, (New York: Oxford U P, 1985).

 

Write an essay about James Bond’s masculinity. How is it depicted in Dr No?

James Bond is a worldwide sensation and often seen as the epitome of masculinity. His iconic image has expanded into a global brand with filmic and cross-promotional expansion, as well as cult followings, making him a widely familiar figure of manliness. Fleming explores masculinity in Dr. No through Bond’s recognizable traits and lifestyle, the idea of physical endurance, the male gaze, and the portrayal of and relationship to women. I will be exploring the devices Fleming uses in order to portray these elements of the masculine, as well as problematizing such a portrayal with the critical view of politically negative connotations that lie alongside it.

 

The Bond brand centres around the image of a well-dressed, handsome English gentleman who drinks martinis, smokes cigarettes, drives expensive cars and holds impressive guns. Also most notably presented in Dr. No is the idea of physical endurance and self-discipline, as shown through Bond’s fitness regime and later his deathly obstacle course. The accumulation of these elements results in what is viewed as a most masculine façade. Audiences worldwide will recognise the fetishisation of his gun; in Dr. No it reads: ‘he thought of his fifteen year marriage to the ugly bit of metal…Bond felt unreasonably sad. How could one have such ties with an inanimate object’[1]. His weapon serves as a phallic symbol of male dominance, as well as playing up to his genre to satisfy the action fans.

In addition, Fleming seems to promote the idea of a hard and fast lifestyle, providing much description of Bond’s smoking expensive cigarettes, and his habitual ways of drinking alcohol:

‘Bond ordered a double gin and tonic and one whole lime. When the drink came he cut the lime in half, dropped the two squeezed halves into the long glass, almost filled the glass with ice cubes and then poured in the tonic’[2].

This presentation of routine and expertise seems to provide the image of a confident, experienced and successful man. This metrosexual characterisation may be criticised, as Toby Miller states in his article: ‘far from being the alpha of the latter-day Hollywood macho man…Bond was in the avant-garde of weak, commodified male beauty’[3]. Yet, this fails to affect his popularity and his associations with being the ultimate man. In fact, it seems to redefine the idea of masculinity; after Bond, manliness does not necessarily come from brute aggressiveness, but from style and class.  

It would seem that such a display of elitism would alienate much of the audience, offending many who identify the superiority presented. Indeed, Bond’s middle-class style and ideologies are no doubt a reflection of Fleming’s Etonian background.  However, this chauvinistic display was almost excused as satire. Indeed, the ‘original (upper-class, British) audience assumed that the novels’ chauvinism, racism, and sexism could be discounted. They believed that these elements were to be considered only in terms of their purely formal role in parodying by means of excess’[4]. Yet in the novel Fleming glamorizes Bond rather than parodying him, and, certainly, he goes on to become a global sensation, not analysed by the mass mainstream for his elitist affiliations.

 

Most notably in the novel is Fleming use of the male gaze. Through the third-person narrative, the reader is able to follow the male gaze, not just as Bond gazes at females, but also the reader’s gaze at Bond. This allows identification as well as attraction, bringing focus to his masculinity. Indeed, women are objectified by this gaze. As Laura Mulvey explores in her study of film, male curiosity and the striving for the demystification of women is also a significant component of Dr. No, which implies why such pleasure is found from indulging in the franchise. Certainly, psychoanalysis suggests that the demystification and dominating of women is what men find most pleasurable about film and fiction[5]. For instance, Fleming writes: ‘he wanted to…try to find out more about this queer, beautiful girl’[6], and later: ‘his mind was full of the day and of this extraordinary Girl Tarzan who had come into his life’[7]. This relates to male audience, providing the male as ‘bearer of the look’[8], which depicts his power over the women in the novel.

The inclusion of the Chinese girl taking photos of Bond provides the female gaze upon him, framing him as inspirationally masculine and drawing in the female audience. ‘She was dressed in a tight-fitting sheath of black satin slashed up one side almost to her hip…the girl slipped the base [of the flashbulb] into her mouth to wet it’[9]. This sexual description of her follows the male gaze and objectifies the female. This is also later exemplified with the description of Honey: ‘it was a naked girl…the belt made her nakedness extraordinarily erotic’[10].

The religious allusion towards the end of the novel is most significant here. It reads: ‘Bond…hung, crucified’[11]. It depicts the idea that his persona and physical endurance likens Bond to Christ, framing him as aspirational to the male reader and attractive to the female reader.

 

Bond’s relationship to women in the novel is one of paternal dominance, objectification, and sexual attraction. Such features explicitly denote masculinity, and define it in terms of masculine duty as well as desire. Indeed, the idea of the need to protect and provide for women is highlighted. For example, it reads: ‘in combat, like it or not, a girl is your extra heart’[12]. There are also moments of more demeaning descriptions of masculine duty, including: ‘there would be no dropping the leash until he had solved her problems for her…he would buy her dresses, have her hair done, get her started in the big world’[13]. This sends the message that men should provide the means for women to take their rightful place and conform to a certain role.

Additionally, females are represented as less competent than men. Honey is depicted as naïve and child-like, allowing Bond to take his role of the masculine paternal figure; her childish language and attitude allows Bond to assume a superior role. He says: ‘she doesn’t know about the struggle for big power and big money by the big men’[14], the basic language transcending Bond into a higher realm of intellect and responsibility. Fleming later writes: ‘Bond told the story in simple terms, with good men and bad men, like an adventure story out of a book’[15], allowing him to take the paternal, patronizing role, and giving him even further dominance.

Bond draws Honey into his affection and trust with his sexual charisma. Yet, despite this blatantly sexist portrayal, it is widely accepted that many women secretly would enjoy Bond ‘having his wicked way with them’. In the context of mass popular culture, such questions of political incorrectness are pushed aside as the enjoyment comes from fairly superficial, passive indulging- an argument that I will expand in my conclusion.

 

There exists a plethora of criticisms of Fleming’s depiction of masculinity as intrinsically imperialist. In Dr. No, masculinity denotes the law, defeating criminals, and patriotism. In the context of social revolution in the Western World, the Cold War and the Red Scare, such a portrayal lends itself to right cycle fiction, depicting pride in patriotism and fighting foreign threat. Certainly, Bond’s sexuality and beauty stands in stark contrast to the impotence and ugliness of Dr. No, who represents Oriental (excessive capitalism) as well as German (Nazi) threat to imperialism and established order. Christoph Lindner’s argument is that ‘throughout the Bond films, 007’s Cold War and sexual adventures masked the fact that Bond was an imperial hero, who provided a way for Britishness to continue to be defined in opposition to the ‘dark’ people of the world’[16]. Yet, such criticisms have not prevented mass mainstream success. Despite the chauvinistic persona, Bond continues to be that escapist fantasy of the ideal man. As I have concluded throughout, elements of imperialism and snobbery presented in Dr. No are dismissed by Bond fans because of the context of the popular fiction genre. Sarah Thornton speaks about how ‘fantasies of identity are key to pleasure’[17]. Indeed, Bond fans do not literally want to be him, but they find comfort in the stereotype and the indulgence of male narcissism in the fictive world- an escape from our own.

Much like Hollywood’s Cinema of Attraction, the spectacle is revered rather than analysed.  Connotations and contributions to imperialism, racism and misogyny seem to be wiped under the rug as Bond continues to be presented to the world as the quintessential English gentleman, to whom men may aspire. Adorno explores this idea, claiming that consumers of popular culture ‘seek novelty, but the strain and boredom associated with actual work leads to avoidance of effort in leisure time which offers the only chance for really new experience. As a substitute, they crave a stimulant’[18]– Bond and other popular heroes serve this purpose. This suggests why the need for intellectual engagement is ignored; the fans simply enjoy the fantasy world of this popular genre, relishing in this idea of stylish masculinity, and do not concern themselves with the politically incorrect elements. Indeed, this type of passive audience is the target demographic that this genre reaches out to; thus, this is the way in which it is expected to be received.  It is as Suzanne Moores states: ‘It’s almost as if Bond was written for the purpose of being read for his ideological incorrectness by angsty academics who felt decidedly uncomfortable that they actually enjoyed these un-sound films’[19].

 

Word count: 1,586

 

 


[1] Ian Fleming, Dr. No, (London: Vintage Books, 1958), p. 29.

[2] Ibid, p. 52.

[3] Toby Miller, ‘Cultural Imperialism and James Bond’s Penis’ in The James Bond Phenomenon, ed. Christoph Lindner, (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 123.

[4] Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (New York: Methuen, 1987), p. 23.

[5] Laura Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, In Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (New York: Oxford UP, 1999), p. 838.

[6] Ian Fleming, Dr. No, (London: Vintage Books, 1958), p. 119.

[7] Ibid, p. 170.

[8] Laura Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, In Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (New York: Oxford UP, 1999), p. 838.

[9] Ian Fleming, Dr. No, (London: Vintage Books, 1958), p. 57.

[10] Ibid, p. 111.

[11] Ibid, p. 281.

[12] Ibid, p. 139.

[13] Ibid, p. 171.

[14] Ibid, p. 132.

[15] Ibid, p. 157.

[16] Christoph Lindner, ed., The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 136.

[17] Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1996), p. 91. 

[18] Theodor Adorno, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002), p. 459.

[19] Toby Miller, ‘Cultural Imperialism and James Bond’s Penis’ in The James Bond Phenomenon, ed. Christoph Lindner, (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 123.

Bibliography:

Adorno, Theodor, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002).

Bennett, Tony and Janet Woollacott, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (New York: Methuen, 1987).

Fleming, Ian, Dr. No, (London: Vintage Books, 1958).

Mulvey, Laura, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, In Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (New York: Oxford UP, 1999).

Lindner, Christoph, ed., The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003).

Miller, Toby, ‘Cultural Imperialism and James Bond’s Penis’ in The James Bond Phenomenon, ed. Christoph Lindner, (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 123.

Thornton, Sarah, Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1996). 

 

Contrast ‘Spellbound’ by Nora Roberts with ‘The Stud’ by Jackie Collins as examples of romance and ‘anti-romance’ fiction.

Both romance and anti-romance hold connotations of triviality and low-brow culture, reducing women to simplistic figures in which to indulge. Yet, for all their critical analyses, it seems inconclusive as to which genre is more sexist. This question may be addressed with reference to authorial intent, but, as Edward Said claims, ‘the reader is a full participant in the production of meaning, being obliged as a moral thing to act, to produce some sense’[1], indicating that both genres operate ideologically only to the extent to which the reader interpolates it. This essay will examine the theory that such readings of sexism depend on how the novels are received, using the idea of ethnographic consideration in order to study this. I will be dividing reception of these genres into the passive pleasure readers and the ironic or critical readers.

 

Spellbound and The Stud exemplify the varied potential readings of the two genres. Both are primarily intended for fast-paced consumption by a mass audience, and are what Snitow describes as ‘easy to read pablum’[2]. Certainly, today’s commodity culture has produced a certain depthlessness, reflecting Adorno and Horkheimer’s theory of the culture industry[3] churning out pseudo-individualised commodities to be consumed passively in leisure time. Romances are more obviously liable to be condemned by feminist criticism due to their female characters relying on men for fulfilment. Spellbound in particular may be thus condemned due to its references to the medieval era- an almost nostalgic allusion to a patriarchal period in which women had a stricter, more subservient role in romantic relationships. However, this essay will investigate the argument that anti-romance, despite its supposedly empowering message to women, is also sexist in its representation of how its women gain and maintain such power.

 

Most obviously, anti-romance novels (The Stud being a particularly apt example due to its male and female narrative perspectives) are able to alter Laura Mulvey’s idea of the male gaze domination and the objectification of women in art[4]. Though seemingly empowering for women previously subjected to the gaze (as Bryna is in Spellbound through the male narrative perspective as well as being the subject of both male characters’ desires), it is clear through The Stud that the gaze is seemingly appropriate to the celebrity figure, meaning women as well as men are still objectified. In fact, both Bryna and Fontaine relish in the male gaze, though the former for matrimonial monogamy and the latter for power. Yet, both bear traits of sexism, as romance dictates that women centre their lives around finding a husband, while anti-romances gives the impression that identity correlates directly with appearance, indicating that women remain under superficial scrutiny in the modern world. Certainly, Tony criticises how Fontaine is ‘a bit lacking in the tits and ass department’[5], despite succumbing to her dominance, which suggests that the male gaze will remain even with the new status of women.

The Stud reduces woman’s agency to superficial display of material prosperity. Yet, the females’ skills revolving around consumption and celebrity image prove to be lucrative in the context of this contemporary world, and act as a source of economic power. This differs from the domestic sphere of feminine sentimentality; compared to the nineteenth century sentimentalism and domestic traditions, the sex and shopping novel permeates the convention of male writing representing public, rational social criticism, rather than relying on the domestic, emotional commentary in which women were considered to be concerned only with maternal and domestic yearnings. Through this genre, women are now positioned within consumer culture rather than relegated solely to the domestic realm. This may be viewed as an empowering new position for women as it not only places women in the public/business sphere of consumerism, but also depicts the male narrative of ambition and economic mobility. Aside from the overwhelming emergence in commodity culture, the anti-romance novel rewrites the American Dream narrative, appropriating it to the contemporary ability for women to have a self-made woman story, thereby refuting traditional representations of women. However, through this, characters such as Fontaine display essentially male characteristics of ambition, but also hedonism, excess, narcissism and the seeking for immediate gratification. The Stud also depicts a dependence on men as well as immorality and exploitation in regards to the way women achieve their wealth. This could be read, as Felski sees is, ‘as a redress of past inequities’[6], providing the prospect for women to, in their own way, dominate. Alternatively, it may be regarded as hypocritical of criticisms made against men in patriarchal society, denoting the damaging effects of such a representation of women as encouraging the use of sexuality and appearance to gain economic and social mobility.

Additionally, this representation retains the idea that women lack intellectual depth, and even this reliance on social manipulation and sexual exploitation is unstable; for example, Fontaine’s husband, the reliant funding and prestige behind her extravagant lifestyle, leaves her. To this extent, the novel portrays the idea that women still have to sacrifice a part of themselves in order to gain success, just as Bryna sacrifices a lifetime for Calen. In this celebrity circle, it remains socially unacceptable to have a husband that is not deemed respectable. Furthermore, commodity consumption presents an opportunity for fulfilment, depicting how women are seduced by material wealth, just as romance heroines are seduced by men. For example, Fontaine makes up with Benjamin because she simply must have the fur coat she wants him to buy her in order to impress her social circle. Thus, the sex and shopping novel applies similar social constraints and pressures to that of patriarchal society, and arguably harsher constraints than the world of romances like Spellbound, whose female protagonist at least has the potential for a compassionate relationship.

Nonetheless, Kay Mussell remarks that romance novels fail ‘to elaborate mature and triumphant models for female life beyond marriage, motherhood and femininity’[7], just as The Stud fails to elaborate models for female life beyond consumer and celebrity culture. Therefore, it is evident that both genres establish constraints upon women. In her article, Regis writes that ‘canonical romance writers have employed [romance form] to free their heroines from the barrier and free them to choose the hero’[8]. There is emphasis throughout the article on women’s free choice, yet romances such as Spellbound establish the hegemonic ideology of monogamous marriage and the vital need to find a man to complete one’s life, and thus refuses to provide other options for female fulfilment. Douglas corroborates this, claiming that courtship in romance novels is reduced to ‘coupling in the wary primitive modes of animal mating’[9], thus providing limiting horizons for women.

As Modleski sees it, romances encourage the reader ‘to participate in and actively desire feminine self-betrayal’[10], as indeed Bryna waits and relies on Calen for one thousand years with no question of this commitment begged from the reader. On the other hand, a significant aspect of the sex and shopping novels such as The Stud centres around the idea that women can enjoy free sex without shame, but in doing so it negates any emotional connection and reduces it to hedonistic insignificance. Thus, both portrayals are limiting in portraying female fulfilment. In addition, the lack of depth and complexity in the writing style of both texts further indicates a lack of intelligence as a vehicle for women, both in terms of the characters presented and the metatexual concept of low-brow popular fiction associations.

 

In The Stud, the emphasis on glamour and materiality serves to highlight the retaining of femininity of women in a masculine role of dominance and economic autonomy. However, to a critical rather than a pleasure reader, this may portray the postmodern view of the social construction of gender, drawing on Judith Butler’s theories of gender performativity[11] as a social construction. To this extent, the overtly camp aesthetic of the lifestyle and characters in the novel serves as a form of ironic resistance of hegemonic gender roles. Andrew Ross asserts that in camp presentation the exaggeration of the characterisation helps undermine and challenge the accepted normality of essentialist gender roles[12], linking to Robertson’s ideas on gender parody as a means of critique[13]. Considering this, one might look to the Brechtian technique of verfrumdungseffekt[14], as the exaggerated characterisation of the camp aesthetic estranges the audience in order to give them detached judgment of dominant gender roles.

However, with ethnographic consideration, it is clear that the majority of the anti-romance audience are passive, pleasure readers, meaning one must assume that most would not read this deeply. As Robertson remarks, ‘camp is a reading/viewing practice which, by definition, is not available to all readers; for there to be a genuinely camp spectator, there must be another hyperbolical spectator who views the object ‘normally’’[15]. This again asserts the idea of a divided audience between the Adorno’s idea of ‘passive dupes’[16] and the critical readers. Moreover, as a piece of popular culture, one should not necessarily read such text socio-politically. Indeed, Susan Sontag remarks that the constructed and stylised manner of the camp aesthetic, by its very nature, is apolitical[17], the point being its utter frivolousness and not its ability to critique. It is certainly difficult to read such a text as a serious social critique, especially considering the authors.

Authorial celebrity and homology, exemplified by Jackie Collins and Nora Roberts, provides evidence for their novels being a celebration rather than critique of this lifestyle and position of women. Certainly, sex and shopping novels almost instruct the reader on social mobility within the lifestyle of the rich and the famous, and the intertextual evidence of authors’ own celebrity depicts an encouragement for the values displayed in the novels. For example, Collins socialises within real-life celebrity circles, and makes a living on revealing secrets to the population on chat shows and online forums. This denotes a voyeuristic fascination rather than distanced critiquing; it seems to aim for readers to live out their fantasies through the characters. This celebratory representation appears to condone a new definition of femininity, though that definition still includes engendered roles, as men are needed to fund women and provide them status.

 

In order to determine the effects of such representations, one has to ethnographically evaluate how such texts are received. Both The Stud and Spellbound represent mythic genres that depict exceptional, extraordinary heroines. The pleasure here is from viewing this extraordinary femininity, and thus does not denote commentary of social reality. Indeed, this follows Robertson’s logic of ‘the pleasure of masquerade’[18], that is distanced from reality. As Adorno and Horkheimer would see it, the readers of romance and anti-romance ‘seek novelty, but the strain and boredom associated with actual work leads to avoidance of effort in that leisure time which offers the only chance for really new experience. As a substitute, they crave a stimulant’[19]. In this way, the readers are not necessarily expected or expecting to directly refer to reality when reading these texts. As Douglas sees it, romances ‘are porn softened for the needs of female emotionality’[20], and The Stud, while not passionately or explicitly sexual, acts as a form of female pornography in its titillation of female power and dominance. In either case, the categorisation of ‘pornography’ indicates a lack of realism, and more an indulgence for reason of pleasure, rather than reflections on reality.  

However, the potential for real-life association would be more plausible in The Stud, which may be read as a vision for a desired reality because the descriptions of commodity culture are very much existing and prospering, as well as the authors indulging in that very lifestyle and almost encouraging it. Meanwhile, the fantastical world of Spellbound exemplifies the reader’s escape into a mythic world and is not expected to reflect reality. It seems, then, that anti-romance’s close correlation with real-life makes it more demeaning in its reflection of reality, as opposed to an escapist’s utopian sensibility that does not necessarily reflect real-life desires. Nonetheless, romances may be seen, as Regis asserts, as an ‘enslaver of women’[21], implying that romances have hegemonic repercussions in the real world of restricting female aspirations to heterosexual, monogamous wifehood. This subjective inconclusiveness directs us to Roland Barthes, whose ‘Death of the Author’[22] voices the concept that it is for the reader to find meaning, relegating authorial intent and majority reception to irrelevancy. To this extent, the reader is free to produce any reading of the texts; despite the lack of intention, there still exists the potential for any implicit meaning to be found, thus negating any possibility of conclusively determining which genre imparts the more damaging representation of women. 

 

Overall, considering both the authorial intent and the mass reception of these novels, the bourgeois idea of cognitive connection to culture is seemingly unfitting to a study of popular fiction; instead the focus is on pleasure, not critical analysis. As Andrew Britton explores the concept of Hollywood blockbusters, so too is popular music to be ‘consumed’ rather than ‘read’ with the postmodern logic of spectacle over content[23]. Undoubtedly, such forms of ‘art’ are created chiefly for the marketplace, and thus do not deliberately operate ideologically. However, if one were to read such texts as indicators of the female role, it seems evident that, despite its feminist intention of empowering women, the anti-romance genre, exemplified by The Stud, signifies an equally restricting and demeaning representation of women as may be seen in romance novels; it merely appropriates concerns of finding a male to the ascertaining of wealth and status through manipulation and exploitation, both reducing the female to two-dimensional life aspirations. 

Word count: 2,685


[1] Edward Said, The World, the Text and the Critic (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts 1983) p 41.

[2] Ann Snitow, “Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different” (Cambridge University Press: 1979), p. 309.

[3] Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, (Stanford University Press: 2002).

[4] Laura Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (New York: Oxford UP, 1999).

[5] Jackie Collins, The Stud, (London: Mayflower Books, 1970), p. 52.

[6] Rita Felski, ‘Judith Krantz, Author of ‘The Cultural Logistics of Late Capitalism’, Women: A Cultural Review, vol. 8, no. 2, (England: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 139.

[7] Kay Mussell, Fantasy and Reconciliation: Contemporary Formulas of Women’s Romance Fiction, (Greenwood Press: 1984), p. 189.

[8] Pamela Regis, ‘One Man, One Woman: Nora Roberts’ in A Natural History of the Romance Novel, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p. 205.

[9] Ann Douglas, ‘Soft-Porn Culture’, The New Republic, (1980), p. 25.

[10] Tania Modleski, Loving with a Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for Women, (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1982), p, 37.

[11] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990).

[12] Andrew Ross, ‘Politics Without Pleasure’, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 12, (Yale University Press: 1989), p. 161.

[13] Pamela Robertson, Guilty Pleasures: Camp from Mae West to Madonna, (London and Durham: Duke University Press, 1996).

[14] Reni Ernst, The Spectator and not the Actor is the Central Focus of Brecht’s Stagecraft, (Dublin: GRIN Verlag, 2008) p. 3.

[15] Pamela Robertson, Guilty Pleasures: Camp from Mae West to Madonna, (London and Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), p. 17.

[16] Theodor Adorno, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002), p. 492.

[17] Susan Sontag, ‘Notes on ‘Camp’ (1964), reprinted in Sontag Against Interpretation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966), pp. 275–92.

[18] Pamela Robertson, Guilty Pleasures: Camp from Mae West to Madonna, (London and Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), p. 14.

[19] Theodor Adorno, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002), p. 459.

[20] Ann Douglas, ‘Soft-Porn Culture’, The New Republic, (1980), p. 29.

[21] Pamela Regis, ‘The Romance Novel and Women’s Bondage’ in A Natural History of the Romance Novel, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p. 4.

[22] Roland Barthes, ‘The Death of the Author’ in Image, Music, Text trans. By Stephen Heath (London: Fontana, 1977).

[23] Andrew Britton, Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, edited by Barry Keith Grant, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009).

 

Bibliography:

Adorno, Theodor, and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, (Stanford University Press: 2002).

Adorno, Theodor, Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno, (London: University of California Press, 2002).

Barthes, Roland ‘The Death of the Author’ in Image, Music, Text trans. By Stephen Heath (London: Fontana, 1977).

Britton, Andrew, Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, edited by Barry Keith Grant, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009).

Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990).

Collins, Jackie, The Stud, (London: Mayflower Books, 1970).

Doane, Mary Ann, The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987).

Douglas, Ann, ‘Soft-Porn Culture’, The New Republic, (1980).

Ernst, Reni, The Spectator and not the Actor is the Central Focus of Brecht’s Stagecraft, (Dublin: GRIN Verlag, 2008).

Felski, Rita, ‘Judith Krantz, Author of ‘The Cultural Logistics of Late Capitalism’, Women: A Cultural Review, vol. 8, no. 2, (England: Oxford University Press, 1997).

Gledhill, Christine, ‘Pleasurable Negotiations’, in Female Spectators: Looking at Film and Television, ed. E. Deidre Pribram (New York: Verso, 1988).

Modleski, Tania, Loving with a Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for Women, (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1982).

Mulvey, Laura, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, (New York: Oxford UP, 1999).

Mussell, Kay, Fantasy and Reconciliation: Contemporary Formulas of Women’s Romance Fiction, (Greenwood Press: 1984), p. 189.

Radway, Janice, ‘The Institutional Matrix: Publishing Romantic Fiction’ in Reading the Romance, (America: University of North Carolina, 1984).

Regis, Pamela, A Natural History of the Romance Novel, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003).

Roberts, Nora, Spellbound, (New York: Penguin, 1998).

Robertson, Pamela, Guilty Pleasures: Camp from Mae West to Madonna, (London and Durham: Duke University Press, 1996).

Ross, Andrew, ‘Politics Without Pleasure’, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 12, (Yale University Press: 1989).

Said, Edward The World, the Text and the Critic (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts 1983) p 41.

Sontag, Susan, ‘Notes on ‘Camp’ (1964), reprinted in Sontag Against Interpretation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966).

Snitow, Ann, Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different (Cambridge University Press: 1979).