Cultural Studies

Download In Pursuit of Elegance by Matthew E. May PDF

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By Matthew E. May

What made the Sopranos finale one of many most-talked-about occasions in tv history?
Why is sudoku so addictive and the iPhone so darn irresistible?
What do Jackson Pollock and Lance Armstrong have in universal with theoretical physicists and Buddhist monks?

Elegance.In this thought-provoking exploration of why convinced occasions, items, and folks seize our awareness and imaginations, Matthew E. may well examines the elusive aspect at the back of such a lot of leading edge breakthroughs in fields starting from physics and advertising to layout and pop culture. Combining strange simplicity and stunning strength, beauty is characterised by way of 4 key elements'seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability. In a compelling, story-driven narrative that sheds gentle at the desire for splendor in layout, engineering, artwork, city making plans, activities, and paintings, may possibly bargains striking proof that what's 'not there' frequently trumps what is.

In the bestselling culture of The Tipping aspect, Made to Stick, and The Black Swan, In Pursuit of Elegance will switch how you take into consideration the realm.

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Extra info for In Pursuit of Elegance

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These essays can therefore be understood as taking seriously Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s challenge1 to locate always the woman who is spoken for, and whether the fact of one woman’s speaking, say, in the location of American feminist intellectual work, has an impact on how such an argument tacitly assumes another woman elsewhere whose experiences cannot be encompassed in such a moment of theory. The point is not to censure, but to locate the woman who speaks and on what terms. Together, then, these essays ask about how, where, and to what ends images of women are produced and circulated; they help us to think about the relation of gender to genre (types of films such as science fiction or documentary) and also about the protocols for reading films closely.

It literally looks elsewhere; it seeks to open the hidden vaults of black collective memory, to explore the fact of Hughes’ homosexuality along with other “closeted” or finessed secrets of sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance. Neither a biography of Hughes nor a traditional period piece, Looking for Langston traverses, as does a dream, the distance between “now” (the late 1980s, HIV- and AIDS-related gay-bashing, urban gay life) and “then” (a remarkable but quashed moment of black cultural expression); it also trammels, in that temporal movement, distinctions between black and white, popular culture and avant-garde art and cinema, photography and film, and poetry and prose.

22 In this passage, Hall is keen to see “black” in terms of its cultural construction, without having to make recourse to an essential ground (whether biological, historical, or otherwise). One can see the importance in such an argument: Hall is seeking to avoid any concept that would ground “black” experience in an eternal nature rather than a mutable culture. If race, in other words, simply “is” (naturalized, essentialized) and is for all time (eternal), then racism can’t be eliminated. The careful reader may, however, want to note how Hall’s own language slips: “ ‘black’ is essentially a politically and culturally constructed category” (our change of italics from the above citation).

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