Three Forms of Camp
Again we find the Marxist classics agreed on attributing to the petty bourgeois a maudlin sentimentality. The sentimental Eugène Sue, who is pilloried in The Holy Family, and the sentimental Proudhon, appear as the archetypal French petty bourgeois. In Germany, the petty bourgeoisie is offered that brand of socialism which the Manifesto ironically dubs ‘true’. The pretentious garb in which its ‘eternal truths’ were presented was put together from ‘speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment’. Even the idealist Hegel made fun of Schiller's unattainable ideals.
Maria Ossowska defining ‘bourgeois sentimentalism’ 1
As this study has been suggesting, there are limits to the identitarian project and borders that it cannot cross. As identity formations in Northern Ireland have their genesis not in the need to encounter opposition but rather in the contemplation of an absence within the subject itself, so much of what can be understood as the discourse of Northern Irish identity politics takes the form of a cultural possibility; a strategy intended to find a voice from within (and give shape to) a contradictory ideology. It is for this reason that identity, despite the prerequisite that it should appear as a self-sufficient, achieved entity, is at the same time a construct that is forever reinventing itself. Identity's call for recognition, the manner in which it demands acknowledgment of itself, contradicts that which is, simultaneously, its most crucial appeal: the self-evident, totalitarian, nature of its demands. As identity makes itself known through spectacle, as self-conscious declaration, so it offers itself as something to be consumed: its message no more than a declaration of existence. In turn, the insistent cries for acknowledgment that such a declaration demands become insatiable: as it always wants more than it receives, the identitarian imperative is both foreclosed by the bourgeois codes through which it makes itself