Carnivalesque

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity Thumbnail

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 19, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , ,

In my previous blog, I established Miss Amelia’s café as a place of inclusive community, linked to Mikhail Bakhtin’s conceptualisation of carnivals and their connection to freak shows. I highlighted that the space engendered a sense of community where its occupants’ grotesque physicality and their subversive genders were accepted. This post explores the grotesque power of patriarchy using Foucauldian theory and its resistance to the collapse of dichotomous gender and sexuality binaries in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951). Justin Edwards and Rune Graulund, i

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) Thumbnail

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951)

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 12, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , ,

In my previous blog, I summarised the plot of McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café and aligned it with key genres and tropes to highlight its Gothicism and cultural critique of patriarchy through grotesque tropes. This post uses Bakhtinian theory to situate Miss Amelia’s café as a place of community, a theatrical space of gender performance and bodily oddities, which temporarily succeeds in challenging patriarchy.   The philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His world (1965) analyses the work of the Renaissance writer François Rabelais to refocu

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie Thumbnail

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 05, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , , ,

Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) portrays the destructive power of the patriarchal regime.[1] McCullers’ use of grotesquerie brings the marginalised, the androgynous, the deformed and the weird to the forefront of her novella. In doing so, she makes the abnormal normal and the importance of binary distinctions, such as masculine and feminine, gay and straight, breakdown, at least temporarily. We feel compassion for those traditionally omitted from society and power – particularly, the distinctly masculine Miss Amelia – and we mourn the loss of a fleetingly enjoy