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The Other Serious: Essays for the New American Generation

Christy Wampole
Format
Book
Published
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Uniform Title
Essays
Variant Title
Essays for the new American generation
ISBN
9780062320353, 0062320351, 9780062320360, 006232036X, 9780062320377, 9780062316646
Summary
"What is this strange land in which we live? Still very much in its experimental phase, the United States is a curious place where obesity is a sign of poverty, where excess in all its forms is the first natural reflex, and where Total Irony has become the handiest reply to the disheartening combo of reveling oligarchs, brain-free media, and political chaos. As Jefferson Airplane put it, ours is a country "where logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead." The Other Serious: American Essays contains a motley assortment of reflections on the United States as anomaly. Among the many maneuvers in this collection are: A close reading of the light-obsessed "Star-Spangled Banner" alongside the gory French national anthem; an analysis of Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" (1986) as a cryptofeminist fantasy; various forms of praise for oldness, dirt, and boring things; a eulogy for the messy humanity in Richard Linklater's Slacker (1991); and reflections on awkwardness, distraction, the North-South divide, the legacy of the Enlightenment in America, and Apple's goal to make its products totally invisible. Above all, this assemblage of essays proposes a framework for approaching life in our muddled nation with a joyful seriousness"--
Contents
  • Introduction: A Heavy Life or a Light One
  • The Glare of the Enlightenment
  • The Great American Irony Binge
  • The Patina of Things
  • On Distraction
  • The Emotive Spectacle
  • Intergenerational Conversation
  • Toward A Sterile Future
  • Southern Niceness
  • On Awkwardness
  • Treat Your Country Like Your Child, Not Your Parent
  • The Metaphor of Masking Tape
  • You Have No Power Over Me
  • The Bad Serious
  • The Other Serious
  • Postscript: The Lightness of the Ladybug.
Description
vii, 243 pages ; 22 cm
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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