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Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

ISBN-10: 0521568315
ISBN-13: 9780521568319
Edition: 1999
List price: $39.99 Buy it from $2.37
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Description: This is a collection of critical essays rethinking Buanuel's work. This text examines his relationship to surrealism, the transnational nature of his work, and his dramatic and idiosyncratic rethinking of sex, narrative and gender.

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Book details

List price: $39.99
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 1/28/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

This is a collection of critical essays rethinking Buanuel's work. This text examines his relationship to surrealism, the transnational nature of his work, and his dramatic and idiosyncratic rethinking of sex, narrative and gender.

Rechy is an important gay writer also linked to the Beat Movement, whose work has been recognized by a number of prestigious grant nominations or awards, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. He grew up in El Paso, Texas, in a poor, Mexican American family. Because of his poverty and his ethnic heritage, he learned very early in life to feel himself an outsider, which was intensified by his later experiences as a gay hustler traveling America in search of his social and sexual identity. He came to popular and critical attention with his first published novel, City of Night (1963), which was a bestseller and was nominated for the International Prix Formentor. A fictionalized account of his travels, the novel focuses on the people whom the unnamed narrator encounters on the hustling scene in a number of cities, including New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Together, these cities make up the titular "city of night," or, as Rechy writes, "the city of night of the soul." A state of mind rather than a particular place, this "city"---modern America---is where hypocrisy and homophobia are reconciled with the fact of homosexuality in various forms, and poverty may be more spiritual than material. The book owes something to two classics: Jack Kerouac's Beat novel, On the Road, which celebrates countercultural alternatives to middle-class culture and lifestyles, including bourgeois marriage and family life, and Djuna Barnes's modernist novel Nightwood, which explores a tragic gay "nightworld" as a symbol of the modern urban wasteland. Rechy addresses similar themes in a later work that is equally well known, The Sexual Outlaw (1977), which he has described as an experiment with the novel form. Ostensibly a documentary of the life of a gay man, the book is also a critique of American values and morality. Commentaries throughout the text are really journalistic essays that expose the double standards and double binds of a "closeted" culture, in which many fear to be openly gay because of homophobic reprisals. Rechy has suggested that all of his work (which includes plays, essays, and reviews, as well as novels) articulates the need to preserve gay "difference," which he associates with "abundant sexuality," in the face of increasing "heterofascism."

Introduction;
The nomadic discourse of Luis Bu�uel: a rambling overview
Overtures and Overtones:
Laughs with Bu�uel
How Marilyn Monroe profoundly influenced The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Recontextualizing The Discreet Charm:
Bu�uel the realist: variations of a dream
A cultural background to The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
The discreet charm of the postmodern: the negotiating the great divide with the ultimate modernist
Retheorizing Bu�uel:
Bu�uel in the cathedral of culture: reterritorializing the film auteur
Unraveling entanglements of sex, narrative, and gender: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and Belle de Jour Harmony Wu;
Bu�uel's net work: the detour trilogy
Vintage Reviews

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