Who cares about details? As Naomi Schor explains in her highly influential book, we do-but it has not always been so. The interest in detail--in art, in literature, and as an aesthetic category--is the product of the decline of classicism and the rise of realism. But the story of the detail is as political as it is aesthetic. Secularization, the disciplining of society, the rise of consumerism, the invention of the quotidian, have all brought detail to the fore. In this (...) classic work of aesthetic and feminist theory, now available in a new paperback edition, Schor provides ways of thinking about details and ornament in literature, art, and architecture, and uncovering the unspoken but powerful ideologies that attached gender to details. Wide-ranging and richly argued, Reading in Detail presents ideas about reading (and viewing) that will enhance the study of literature and the arts. (shrink)
Focuses on the encounters of feminist and queer theories, on the ways in which basic terms such as - sex, gender, and sexuality change meaning as they move from one body of theory to another. This book includes essays by Judith Butler, Evelynn Hammonds, Biddy Martin, Kim Michasiw, Carole-Anne Tyler, and Elizabeth Weed.
Two widely shared but diametrically opposed views inform what theories we have on the everyday: one, which we might call the feminine or feminist, though it is not necessarily held by women or self-described feminists, links the everyday with the daily rituals of private life carried out within the domestic sphere traditionally presided over by women; the other, the masculine or masculinist, sites the everyday in the public spaces and spheres dominated especially, but not exclusively, in modern Western bourgeois societies (...) by men. According to the one, the everyday is made up of the countless repetitive gestures and small practices that fall under the heading of what the existentialists called the contingent. According to the other, the everyday is made up of the chance encounters of the streets; its hero is not the housewife but the flâneur. In the word of Maurice Blanchot:The everyday is human. The earth, the sea, forest, light, night, do not represent everydayness, which belongs first of all to the dense presence of great urban centers. We need these admirable deserts that are the world’s cities for the experience of the everyday to begin to overtake us. The everyday is not at home in our dwelling-places, it is not in offices or churches, any more than in libraries or museums. It is in the street—if it is anywhere.1 1. Maurice Blanchot, “Everyday Speech,” trans. Susan Hanson, in “Everyday Life,” ed. Alice Kaplan and Kristin Ross, special issue of Yale French Studies, no. 73 : 17. Naomi Schor is the William Hanes Wannamaker Professor Romance Studies at Duke University and coeditor of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. Her most recent book is Reading in Detail: Aesthetics and the Feminine . She is currently completing a book entitled George Sand and Idealism. (shrink)