Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Notes on "Camp"
Notes On "Camp" is a well-known essay by Susan Sontag organized around 58 numbered theses. It was published in 1964, and was the author's first contribution to the Partisan Review. The essay created a literary sensation and brought Sontag her first brush with intellectual notoriety. It was published in 1966 in book form in Sontag's debut collection of essays, Against Interpretation (ISBN 087052352X).
The essay codified and mainstreamed the cultural connotations of the word camp, and identified camp's evolution as a distinct aesthetic phenomenon. While camp, then as now, is often associated with gay culture, only three of Sontag's 58 theses specifically mentioned homosexuality.
- 10. Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman." To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater.
- 18. One must distinguish between na´ve and deliberate Camp. Pure Camp is always naive. Camp which knows itself to be Camp ("camping") is usually less satisfying.
- 41. The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to "the serious." One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious.
- 44. Camp proposes a comic vision of the world. But not a bitter or polemical comedy. If tragedy is an experience of hyperinvolvement, comedy is an experience of underinvolvement, of detachment.
- 58. The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful . . .
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details