Monthly Archives: October 2012

“If all societies… that seek to produce a new man through a process of ‘deculturation’ and ‘reculturation’ set such store on the seemingly insignificant details of dress, bearing, physical and verbal manners, the reason is that, treating the body as a memory, they entrust to it in abbreviated and practical, i.e. mnemonic, form the fundamental principles of the arbitrary content of the culture.. The principles em-bodied in this way are beyond the grasp of consciousness, and hence cannot be touched by voluntary, deliberate transformation, cannot even be made explicit; nothing seems more ineffable, more incommunicable, more inimitable, and, therefore, more precious, than the values given body, madeĀ body by the transubstantiation achieved by the hidden persuasion of an implicit pedagogy, capable of instilling a whole cosmology, an ethic, a metaphysic, a political philosophy, through injunctions as insignificant as ‘stand up straight’ or ‘don’t hold your knife in your left hand’….”

Bourdieu, Pierre. OUTLINE OF A THEORY OF PRACTICE. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. 94. Web.


“…. Where Bakhtin emphasized the dirt of the fair and the lower bodily stratum, the pedlar displays soap, mirrors and items of dental care, commodities of beautification (particularly for women) of a cosmetic nature. Consumption here is not the drunken excess of physical indulgence but rather the subtle intimation of lack in the very display of cosmetic repair. The body of the rural woman, reflected in ‘looking-glasses from Venice’, witnesses a triangulation of desire and body-image through ‘worldly’ goods. These commodities measure the body by another standard, they reveal its provincialism at the very moment of provoking, and appearing to satisfy narcissistic desires. The pedlar’s pack, like Belinda’s dressing table in The Rape of the Lock, critically ‘speaks’ the woman’s body through the display of fashionable commodities. If the fair displayed the grotesque body, it also displayed the ‘fair’.”

Stallybrass, Peter and Allon White. THE POLITICS AND POETICS OF TRANSGRESSION. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986. 39. Print.