The Folding Screen of Kitsch | Shahnewaz Kabir

The Folding Screen of Kitsch | Shahnewaz Kabir

The Folding Screen of Kitsch
Shahnewaz Kabir

Abstract: Kitsch, a relatively recent concept in Western art and literature, has given birth to a great deal of debate and discussion. Owing to a variety of descriptions it is difficult to define it. Nevertheless, it can be characterized by discussing the impacts it creates over the audience. Milan Kundera. in his novel The Unbeatable Lightness of Being, has addressed the features of Kitsch by being quite faithful to the political reality of the West. However, he has taken efforts to explain them through the development of individual psychology in a social context. This paper examines how the supposed features of Kitsch surface through the experiences of a specific persona in the novel. The examination suggests, arguably of course, that Kundera’s attempts to elucidate Kitsch experiences involve aesthetic misrepresentation leaving far reaching impact on social or political structure.

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Published in Fall 2008

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