Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America

Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America

Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America

Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America

Synopsis

Examining seven classic novels, Frankenstein, Wurthering Heights, Great Expectations, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Jude the Obscure, Sons and Lovers, and Mrs. Dalloway- this book brings an entirely new understanding to these and other works.

Excerpt

Most everyone who lived through the Seventies in the United States can recollect the image of the solitary crying Indian from the Keep America Beautiful public-service announcement that debuted on Earth Day in 1971. in the sixty-second spot, the lonely figure, played by longtime screen Indian “Iron Eyes” Cody, silently articulates a call to mourn the loss of the natural order. As he paddles a canoe through a stream and disembarks to stride across the landscape, the camera's lens captures the debris of modern life—industrial pollution and consumer waste—that mars this idyllic picture. Underscoring the untimeliness of this image, a disembodied male announcer intones, “Some people have a deep and abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country… . and some people don't.” the violent history condensed behind this contrast is suggested in the image track, as the word “don't” coincides with the Indian's arrival at the side of a busy highway, where a white hand tosses a bag of trash from the window of a speeding car. As the bag bursts open at the Indian's feet, the camera zooms in to reveal the effect of this confrontation with the waste of a hurried modernity: a single tear slowly making its way down his solemn face, while the voice-over urges Americans to change this state of affairs.

The conviction that attention to feeling can alter the flow of time marks this psa as an instance of a distinctively modern affective chronometry: the deployment of the feeling body as the index of a temporality apart from the linear paradigm of “progress.” in the slow movement of the Indian's tear, the psa at once traces an overlooked history and opens another possibility, as it cries out to the “Americans” who inhabit this present to work together toward a different future. the tear, in effect, recollects the movements of the human heart that underlie and authorize post-Enlightenment conceptions of the social bond, demanding a change in the pace of history. This conceptualization of human time according to the foundational truth of emotional . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.