The Culture of Obesity in Early and Late Modernity: Body by E. Levy-Navarro

By E. Levy-Navarro

The tradition of weight problems in Early and overdue Modernity bargains the 1st sustained exam of fatness within the early glossy period.  As Levy-Navarro notes, physically perceptions have developed that price the skinny physique as they mark and stigmatize the fats one. utilizing readings of such significant figures as Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Skelton, this ebook considers other ways that fats was once developed earlier than the creation of the trendy pathologized class of “obesity”.  Levy-Navarro argues that Shakespeare, Jonson, and Skelton understood skinny aesthetic consolidates the facility of the elite and selected to align themselves with their fats, lowly, and revolting characters--an alliance that gives a version of defiance with endured relevance. 

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Additional info for The Culture of Obesity in Early and Late Modernity: Body Image in Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Skelton

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Gluttony is associated with his swelling “gut” or “womb” in a way that easily reminds us of the very different swelling paunches of early modern characters such as Falstaff and the Fat Bishop. Gluttony is associated with grotesque bodily excrement in a way that recalls the leaking body 36 The Culture of Obesity of Jonson’s pig-woman Ursula. This work will demonstrate that these are only superficial similarities because the latter characters depend on a bodily aesthetic that emerges with modernity.

We develop alternative forms of history when we develop alliances with those who are seen as obstructing the imperative in our dominant culture to move “forward” through history. No longer should the thin body be privileged as the paragon of health and beauty; no longer is a forward thrust to history seen as a good in and of itself. In allying ourselves in various ways with those bodies that our culture would place in an undesirable “past,” we defy the logics of modernity and its imperative toward progress.

At the same time, they perform perhaps the most underappreciated queer attachment in the piece when they attach themselves to the figure of Divine, a character and persona at the center of many of John Waters’s cult classic films, who, among other queer identities, is, at the time they write, dead. In fostering this attachment, Moon and Sedgwick make a show of their refusal to bow down to a representational regime that always looks toward the future. Both of them are, instead, looking together to a supposedly dead past that is, nonetheless, revitalized and revivified through their present performance.

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