Great Affectations: Camp Parody In The British Long Eighteenth Century

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My dissertation explains that, despite the nominal anachronism, camp has always inhabited literature of the long eighteenth century, namely those examples that were created from and, to some degree, for those experiencing the world from a socially or sexually marginal perspective. To interpret as camp is to not only account for the excesses of style that often infuriate and discompose aesthetic and generic categories of the time period, although it can provide an explanatory motive for noticeably disruptive and even flamboyant literary style. A camp reading can also bring together seemingly disparate texts under the umbrella of alterity. It provides an ideal and common language for discussing formal and generic literary styles alongside feminist, queer, and cultural interpretations. Camp in the eighteenth century is particularly well-positioned to make important contributions to ongoing discussions about the public sphere, the shifts in audience and reception among all media, and the influences of realism, especially relating to the bourgeois representations of affects and emotions. To me, camp is a parodic project, which means that it must bear a symbiotic relationship to the normative text or value that it plays up. Its parody is reliant on those modes opposed as "other" to their marginalized selves; in my examples, the target ranges among the heteronormative family, the orderly body, the sexual object, temporal mastery, aesthetic ownership, sentimental empathy, and even the self. I discuss Walpole's gothic obsession with the deadly influences of time and family; Charke's marketing of her own shame as a reparative autobiographical project; Pope's peevish but excessive and starstruck affection for the womanly things he mocks; and the forms of gendered excess produced by the sentimental novel's hypocritical erasure of its own self-centered pretense of nature.

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eighteenth-century; drama literature parody; british english camp


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Brown, Laura Schaefer

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Salvato, Nicholas G
Hanson, Ellis
Bogel, Fredric Victor

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English Language and Literature

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Ph. D., English Language and Literature

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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