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Cute, Quaint, Hungry And Romantic: The Aesthetics Of Consumerism

Cute, Quaint, Hungry And Romantic: The Aesthetics Of Consumerism
Author: Daniel Harris
ISBN 13: 9780306810473
ISBN 10: 306810476
Edition: New Ed
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Date: 2001-04-12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 294
List Price: $16.95

First time in paperback: "An exhilarating collection by a brilliant writer . . . a penetrating observer of things so familiar that they're in danger of not being noticed."-Steven Millhauser

Library Journal

Harris (The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture) examines the aesthetics of everyday items in this insightful analysis of popular culture. The author studies cuteness, quaintness, coolness, zaniness, and the futuristic in light of how these concepts are manipulated to maximize consumer appeal. For example, quaintness is used to "reproduce the past selectively, editing out its discomfort, inconvenience, misery, stench, and filth and concentrating instead on its carnal pleasures, its `warm and homey feelings.'" Thus, quaintness is manipulated to influence people to buy things that take them back to "the good old days." Considering the political aspects of how goods are designed and advertised, Harris concludes that consumerism results in disappointment and a sense that something is lacking, which only leads to further consumerism to fill the void. This action continues in a vicious cycle of unfulfilled wants and attempts to meet them. While Harris provides an insightful analysis of consumerism and the aesthetics of the everyday, this book is sometimes difficult to follow owing to the advanced nature of the language used and is only appropriate for academic libraries.--Mark Bay, M.D., Univ. of Houston Lib., TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\