Authors
C. E. Emmer
Emporia State University
Abstract
What is kitsch? The varieties of phenomena which can fall under the name are bewildering. Here, I focus on what has been called “traditional kitsch,” and argue that it often turns on the emotional effect specifically captured by Edmund Burke’s concept of “beauty” from his 1757 'A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful.' Burkean beauty also serves to distinguish “traditional kitsch” from other phenomena also often called “kitsch”—namely, entertainment. Although I argue that Burkean beauty in domestic decoration allows for us to see “traditional kitsch” as resting on natural and even healthy impulses, I also argue that an all-too-common political function of traditional kitsch directs it to dangerous ends.
Keywords beauty  burke  kitsch  cute  traditional kitsch  comfort  home  terror  ideology  propaganda
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References found in this work BETA

Kitsch Against Modernity.C. E. Emmer - 1998 - Art Criticism 13 (1):53-80.
Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime.Immanuel Kant - 1960 - Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hegel and Haiti.Susan Buck-Morss - 2000 - Critical Inquiry 26 (4):821-865.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kantian Beauty, Fractals, and Universal Community.C. E. Emmer - 2019 - Dialogue and Universalism 29 (2):65-80.
9/11 as Schmaltz-Attractor: A Coda on the Significance of Kitsch.C. E. Emmer - 2013 - In Monica Kjellman-Chapin (ed.), Kitsch: History, Theory, Practice. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 184-224.
Burkean Beauty in the Service of Violence.C. E. Emmer - 2017 - Dialogue and Universalism 27 (3):55-64.

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