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A leading young Italian semiologist scrutinizes today's cultural phenomena and finds the prevailing taste to be "neo-baroque"--characterized by an appetite for virtuosity, frantic rhythms, instability, poly-dimensionality, and change. Omar Calabrese locates a "sign of the times" in an amazing variety of literary, philosophical, artistic, musical, and architectural forms, from the Venice Biennale through the "new science" to television series, video games, and "zapping" with the remote control device from channel to channel! Calabrese admits that he begins the book with a refusal to distinguish between "Donald Duck and Dante." Avoiding hierarchies or ghettos among works, he takes his readers on a fast-paced expedition through contemporary culture that closes with an elegant essay on evaluation and classical form. According to Calabrese, the enormous quantity of narrative now being produced has led to a new situation: everything has already been said, and everything has already been written. The only way of avoiding saturation has been to turn to a poetics of repetition. The author shows that pleasure in texts is now produced by tiny variations, and a certain kind of citation from other works has taken on a central importance that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. In describing this development, and others shared by both avant-garde and mass media, he makes us aware of the rapid shrinkage in the once ample space between "highbrow" and "lowbrow."
Originally published in 1992.
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"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
Semiologist Calabrese says that neo-baroque consists of "a search for and valorization of forms that display a loss of entirety, totality and system in favor of instability, poly-dimensionality and change." He attempts to identify the taste of our time and to illustrate it methodically. As he identifies the time's "social aesthetics," which he differentiates from postmodernism, he asserts that the tendency is now toward replication and that the interest is not in what is repeated but what parts are used to establish a system of invariables. Prototypes range from Rin Tin Tin to The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco's influence is evident) to The Rocky Horror Picture Show to fractals as art to the television series Dallas . The book provides ample thought for students of comparative literature and culture; the audience is undeniably academic.
- Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0691031711 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1666251
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