Monday, April 25, 2011

Kitsch and Circumstance

The New Yorker's Macy Halford writes: "The British royal wedding might be the last great bastion of (non-religious) kitsch in the English-speaking world. ... American lives are not very romantic. Neither we nor our classic literature endorses fairytale love (Hawthorne, James, Wharton, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway: thanks a lot). For real romance, the sort that comes out of the grand British romantic-storytelling tradition (Jane Austen), one needs a castle of the imagination, a servant class, a tacit endorsement of not working and not raising your own children, and, crucially, a belief that such a lifestyle is the natural right of certain people. The closest we come—movie-star marriages—often have about them an air of tawdriness and even, in some of our favorites (Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Brad and Angie), insanity. The spectacle overwhelms the story, and becomes rocky soil in which to plant our fantasies. ... But in the British royal family there is dignity, eternity, perfection. ... their romances can blossom in earnest ... And because it can grow freely and sincerely, so too can twee representations of it, sincerity being prerequisite for good kitsch."

No comments:

Post a Comment