Camp!: The Story of the Attitude that Conquered the World (Hardcover)

Camp!: The Story of the Attitude that Conquered the World By Paul Baker Cover Image

Camp!: The Story of the Attitude that Conquered the World (Hardcover)

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By the bestselling author of Fabulosa! and Outrageous!, this reappraisal of camp across time and in all its glorious forms shows how this inescapable part of popular culture has also played an important role in equality movements as a form of protest or resistance.

The following things have seemed impossibly camp to me at one point or another: a doll whose body acts as a cover for a toilet roll, a peacock chair, a wig being pulled off and flushed down the toilet, a tantrum over wire coat hangers, a toppled-over Christmas tree, a 1950s muscle magazine featuring a photo of a young man dressed as a gladiator, a rat underneath a silver serving platter, and an estate agent wearing tiger face paint.

Fabulously unrestrained and ever-evolving, camp has captured the cultural imagination for at least 150 years. The term possibly derives from the French se camper, meaning to pose in a bold, provocative or exaggerated fashion. Frequently used to define or deride young heterosexual men, the upper classes, Black people, older women and gay men, camp has also played a key role in equality movements.

Paul Baker's highly anticipated reappraisal of camp surveys its touchstones across history and the changing ways that it has been understood. He traces the history of camp from the courts of Louis XIV and trials of Oscar Wilde to the archetypical dandy Beau Brummell and the celebrated playwright Noel Coward; from The Valley of the Dolls, Harlem's drag balls and Brazilian telenovelas through to the modern day divas of Donna Summer, Madonna and Britney Spears.

Celebrating camp as an aesthetic, a sensibility and a way of life, this essential dive into an often-derided phenomenon, shows how camp has been a place of refuge and renewal, of heroism and hedonism, and how it is more powerful than ever.

'Glittering cultural armour for dark times. Paul Baker captures the essentially uncapturable phenomenon making it just knowable for all. My dear, she's on fire!' - Damian Barr, writer and broadcaster

'A snappy guide to an all-conquering aesthetic Financial Times
Paul Baker is a Professor of English Language at Lancaster University and has written over twenty books, for both academic and popular audiences. These include Fabulosa: The Story of Polari and Outrageous! The Story of Section 28 and the Battle for LGBT Education. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Product Details ISBN: 9781804440322
ISBN-10: 1804440329
Publisher: Footnote Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English
A snappy guide to an all-conquering aesthetic . . . Baker deserves a toast - preferably out of a rhinestone-spangled goblet.
Financial Times

'A snappy guide to an all-conquering aesthetic . . . Baker deserves a toast - preferably out of a rhinestone-spangled goblet.'
Financial Times

'Glittering cultural armour for dark times. Paul Baker captures the essentially uncapturable phenomenon making it just knowable for all. My dear, she's on fire!'
— Damian Barr, writer and broadcaster