New PDF release: American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S.

By Tracy Anne Sachtjen

This venture brings jointly an research of local historical past, business capitalism, and U.S. empire to argue that ugliness---much greater than a personal difficulty among a person and her mirror---became a style of justifying keep an eye on over the folks and locations reworked via the commercial approaches of nineteenth-century enlargement. This dissertation engages ugliness as a historic formation to research how its repeated invocation in well known cultures supplied a simple avatar of awful distinction opposed to which a nationalist physique can be respected. Ugliness particular a physique so misplaced or outpaced through smooth beliefs that exclusion grew to become the answer to nationalized clash. during this method, metaphors of visual appeal and aesthetic worth buttressed the present rhetoric of growth. This undertaking contributes to the learn of nationalist formation and embodiment by means of illuminating gender as a prop for racial abjection.

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Extra info for American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. Nationalism, 1848-1915

Example text

Her face was like an old black apple, within whose skin the pulp had shrunk and withered as it lay forgotten like a ragged mat. There was no light in the dim vacuous eyes. She wore a garment made of the unplucked skins of birds. They spoke to her. 6 Refusing colonial custody, the mestiza granted a peculiar fantasy of civilization: resistance was ugly. Dorthe had not simply aged; in the imperial logic that Atherton suggested, the noble princess had regressed into the savage squaw, 6 Atherton, 1902, 280.

Vallejo was a Californio land baron who founded Sonoma and then, like many of his class (and similar to Ruiz de Burton, as we will see), initially embraced unity with the United States in an effort to stabilize his pueblo. Vallejo, however, would be conned. He recorded his betrayal and imprisonment by Captain John Sutter in the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, and his history of the state, Historical and Personal Memories Relating to Alta California (1875) displaces heroic Anglo American manliness. 53 In tones at once patriotic toward the United States but clearly claiming "Alta California" as the "native land" of a Spanish-speaking people, Vallejo's argument for reconciliation envisioned acculturation - one that, by the end of the century in California, would seem increasingly impossible, but a model that Atherton, writing as late as 1890, sentimentalized in her fictional marriage of indigenous and invader in Los Cerritos.

Although What Dreams May Come and Hermia Sudham were popular sellers, publishers' initial rejection of her manuscripts and then the poor literary reception of both insulted Atherton. After time abroad in Europe, she polished her style, and her later books, while still scandalous, received improved critical attention. Percival Pollard, Their Day in Court (New York: The Neal Publishing Company, 1909), 45; Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton, Adventures of a Novelist (New York: Arno Press, 1932), 146; Wortis Leider, 79.

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American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. Nationalism, 1848-1915 by Tracy Anne Sachtjen

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