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Ritual at the Birth of Kitsch

Ritual at the Birth of Kitsch RITUAL AT THE BIRTH OF KITSCH Cälin-Andrei Mihäilescu Modernity has a condition, an aU too human one, that accompanies it Uke a sweet innuendo and a sour noise: kitsch. Not only is kitsch generaUy regarded as confined to the post-French Revolution realm of modernity, but modernity itself seems to have found in kitsch its proper realm of the famüiar and the inauthentic--its temptation. Subscribing to the common place of modern criticism that deplores media's inabflity to provide "authentic, Uved experiences," GuIo Dorfles writes that: Mass culture, being as it is at the root ofthe new distribution oftime, has killed all ability to distinguish between art and life; all trace of a "rite" in the handing out ofcultural and aesthetic nourishment by the mass media . . . has been lost, and this lack of the ritual element has brought about an transmissions and manifestations which are forced upon him. (30) There is no secret that kitsch is born with(in) mass culture; also, there is no secret that mass culture is made in the image and likeness of the media--in the "age of the world picture" everything might eventuaUy succumb to the McLuhanite tautology, "the medium is the message"-- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Ritual at the Birth of Kitsch

The Comparatist , Volume 21 (1) – Oct 3, 1997

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

RITUAL AT THE BIRTH OF KITSCH Cälin-Andrei Mihäilescu Modernity has a condition, an aU too human one, that accompanies it Uke a sweet innuendo and a sour noise: kitsch. Not only is kitsch generaUy regarded as confined to the post-French Revolution realm of modernity, but modernity itself seems to have found in kitsch its proper realm of the famüiar and the inauthentic--its temptation. Subscribing to the common place of modern criticism that deplores media's inabflity to provide "authentic, Uved experiences," GuIo Dorfles writes that: Mass culture, being as it is at the root ofthe new distribution oftime, has killed all ability to distinguish between art and life; all trace of a "rite" in the handing out ofcultural and aesthetic nourishment by the mass media . . . has been lost, and this lack of the ritual element has brought about an transmissions and manifestations which are forced upon him. (30) There is no secret that kitsch is born with(in) mass culture; also, there is no secret that mass culture is made in the image and likeness of the media--in the "age of the world picture" everything might eventuaUy succumb to the McLuhanite tautology, "the medium is the message"--

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 1997

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