High Theory/Low Culture by M. Brottman

By M. Brottman

In excessive Theory/Low tradition , Brottman makes use of the instruments of 'high' cultural idea to check many parts of modern pop culture, together with kind magazines, game, purchasing, tabloid newspapers, horror video clips and pornography. In doing so, she not just demonstrates the sensible use of 'high' concept because it pertains to our daily international, yet she additionally investigates the types of 'low' tradition which are usually brushed off by means of educational students. via a detailed exam of those cultural kinds, Brottman unearths how the categories of pop culture that we often take without any consideration are, actually, way more advanced and complex than is in general assumed.

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As Bakhtin himself writes in “Discourse in the Novel,” texts continue to grow and develop even after the moment of their creation, and they are capable of being creatively transformed in different eras, far distant from the day and hour of their original birth (422). Bakhtinan analysis constitutes, then, a theoretical system to which it is not only possible but critically essential to submit today’s popular culture, since in its continual interchange and deliberate fusion of high and low styles, politics, parody and pastiche, comic strip and literature, haut couture and street fashion, this kind of culture constitutes a singular shifting polyglossia whose rich carnival of discourse lies open to Bakhtin’s radical definition of novelness, and whose instances of language, say in rock lyrics or advertisements, are in this way very similar to the instances of language that Bakhtin finds in the novel.

It would be unwise to forget that the potential of carnival for radical rebellion is in the end politically limited, since it is, after all, licensed misrule, a contained and officially sanctioned rebellion, after which everybody goes back to work. There are further arresting analogies between football and Bakhtinian carnival. In “Discourse in the Novel,” Bakhtin discovers that carnival is broadly popular in its potential inclusiveness (occurring as it does within an “unraised” place, a “public square,” not unlike the football stadium).

In her work on Bakhtin, Linda Hutcheon (1988) has pointed out that there is something quite ironic about the fact that the carnivalesque involves rigid regularities, discrete groups, graduated hierarchies and so bakhtin and football fans / 23 on, which brings up the question of just how carnivalesque this kind of structured, rigorous, hierarchical festivity really is (what Deleuze has called the haecceity [thisness] of the particular configuration of circumstances at each particular event may well be helpful here).

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