You are to write a two page paper (full two-pages) double-spaced as answering the following prompt. Choose one of the four main characters in Salvage the Bones (Esche, Randall, Skeetah,….
Briefly identify which definition of kitsch you are working with
The idea of kitsch is central to Part Six of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Kundera defines kitsch in several different ways:
Kitsch is the absolute denial of shit…Kitsch excludes everything from its purview which is essentially unacceptable in human existence. pp. 248
Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together will all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch. pp. 252
Refer back to Chapters 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 14 of Part Six for more definitions of kitsch.
You may engage with other definitions of kitsch from art scholars or historians. Dennis Dutton, for example, explains kitsch in this way:
Kitsch can thus be defined as a kind of pseudo-art which has an essential attribute of borrowing or parasitism, and whose essential function is to flatter, soothe, and reassure its viewer and consumer. (full article is posted in Course Content)
The task is to answer these questions and follow the guidelines below Briefly list give speaking notes or summaries to explain the answers.
1. Briefly identify which definition of kitsch you are working with. This may be one of Kundera’s definitions from the novel or a definition you found in an outside scholarly source (see folder in Course Content).
2. Present us with a concrete example of something that embodies kitsch. This might be: a piece of art, a knick-knack, a piece of music, a book, a TV show, a TV commercial. Whatever it is, you need to show it to the class in some way, whether it’s holding up a physical object or screensharing an image. Your example MAY NOT be one of the examples from the Wikipedia page on kitsch.
3. Give a brief explanation as to why this item is kitsch. What elements make it kitsch? What is “banished” or excluded from this object/artwork/TV commercial that allows it to function as kitsch?