Dedication to Hunger: The Anorexic Aesthetic in Modern - download pdf or read online

By Leslie Heywood

Writing as a aggressive athlete, a tutorial, and a girl, Leslie Heywood merges own background and scholarship to reveal the "anorexic common sense" that underlies Western excessive tradition. She maneuvers deftly around the terrain of recent literature, illustrating how this logic--the privileging of brain over physique, of challenging over delicate, of masculine over feminine--is on the center of the modernist type. Her argument levels from Plato to women's bodybuilding, from Franz Kafka to Nike ads.
In penetrating examinations of Kafka, Pound, Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Conrad, Heywood demonstrates how the anorexic aesthetic is embodied in excessive modernism. In a compelling bankruptcy on Jean Rhys, Heywood portrays an writer who struggles to improve a fresh, spare, "anorexic" kind in the middle of a shatteringly messy emotional existence. As Heywood issues out, scholars are proficient within the aesthetic of excessive modernism, and lecturers are burdened into its straitjacket. The ensuing problems are mirrored in constructions as assorted as gender identification formation, sexual harassment, and consuming disorders.
Direct, enticing, and extremely proficient through the author's own involvement along with her topic, commitment to starvation deals a robust problem to cultural assumptions approximately language, gender, subjectivity, and id. Writing as a aggressive athlete, an educational, and a lady, Leslie Heywood merges own background and scholarship to reveal the "anorexic common sense" that underlies Western excessive tradition. She maneuvers deftly around the terrain of contemporary literature, illustrating how this logic--the privileging of brain over physique, of not easy over tender, of masculine over feminine--is on the center of the modernist sort. Her argument levels from Plato to women's bodybuilding, from Franz Kafka to Nike ads.
In penetrating examinations of Kafka, Pound, Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Conrad, Heywood demonstrates how the anorexic aesthetic is embodied in excessive modernism. In a compelling bankruptcy on Jean Rhys, Heywood portrays an writer who struggles to strengthen a fresh, spare, "anorexic" variety in the middle of a shatteringly messy emotional existence. As Heywood issues out, scholars are proficient within the aesthetic of excessive modernism, and teachers are stressed into its straitjacket. The ensuing issues are mirrored in buildings as various as gender id formation, sexual harassment, and consuming disorders.
Direct, attractive, and very knowledgeable by way of the author's own involvement along with her topic, commitment to starvation bargains a robust problem to cultural assumptions approximately language, gender, subjectivity, and id.

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Sample text

Would have to create! And if I didn't create it I would be more lost than ever, for it would be against my nature, and whoever happened to be with me would be lost. You have no idea, Felice, what havoc literature creates inside certain heads. It is like monkeys leaping about in treetops, instead of staying firmly on the ground. (Letters to Felice , 288). "Leaping about in treetops instead of staying firmly on the ground," Kafka as writer is severed from that ground that Felice represents. In this peculiar narrative of ascension, reaching the trees and following ― 81 ― one's "nature" is dependent upon not living together, not forming a bond in the material sense that would distract from the literary ideal.

From the realm of piety to disease, that is, from anorexia mirabilis to anorexia nervosa . . an indicator of mentalities in transition" (98-99). Since there was common public knowledge of the fasting girls at the time, and since the situation in "A Hunger Artist" so closely parallels theirs, it is likely that Kafka had heard of them. " [19] This "diminish[ment] of interest in professional fasting" had its basis in an historical transformation: from women as spiritual icons to women as hysteric patients.

Thus, an assertion that the actual subject of erasure or incorporation is the female body seems logically problematic. ― 70 ― Yet, under closer examination, the logic is clear. In male modernist texts an apparently all-encompassing rejection of bodily materiality that cuts across any designation of gender can be shown to reflect an urge to privilege one kind of sexuality and one kind of body. The privilege occurs through a reversal, with a difference, of the Victorian tradition in which men are "animalistic" in their bodily desires and in their need for gratification, while women lack sexual desire and desire for food, and hate meat.

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