2 Biographic information about the author Susan Sontag (1933- ), American writer, known for her philosophical writings on modern culture. Born in New York City, Sontag was educated at the universities of California, Chicago, and Paris and at Harvard University. During the 1960s and 1970s Sontag's essays and observations had a strong influence on the American counterculture.Her essay collections include Against Interpretation (1966), Styles of Radical Will (1969), and Under the Sign of Saturn (1980). She also wrote the novels The Benefactor (1963), Death Kit (1967), The Volcano Lover (1992), and In America (2000). Sontag's other works include the nonfiction books On Photography (1977), Illness as Metaphor (1978), and AIDS and Its Metaphors (1989); and a collection of short stories.
4 Sontag’s View on ArtOn the bohemian(放荡不羁的)New York scene of the early sixties, Sontag swiftly acquired a reputation as the radical-liberal American woman, who had not only deep knowledge of ancient and modern European culture, but could also reinterpret it from the American point of view. A selection of her writings appeared in AGAINST INTERPRETATION AND OTHER ESSAYS (1968), where she stated that the understanding of art starts from intuitive response and not from analysis or intellectual considerations. "A work of art is a thing in the world, not just text or commentary on the world."Rejecting interpretation, Sontag advocated what she called 'transparency', which means "experiencing the luminousness of thing in itself, of things being what they are". The 'meaning' of art lies in the experiencing both style and content together without analysis. "Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art."
5 Quotations from Sontag: Aids AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly thedirest of consequences: suicide. Or murder.(AIDS and its Metaphors)Beauty What is most beautiful in virile (有男子气概的) men issomething feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women issomething masculine.（Against Interpretation, “Notes on Camp”）Truth The truth is always something that is told, not something thatis known. If there were no speaking or writing there would be no truthabout anything. There would only be what is. （The Benefactor）
6 Art Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Art Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art.（Against Interpretation: people should not attempt to find the 'meaning' in a work of art but experience it as a thing in itself. )Humor If tragedy is an experience of hyperinvolvement, comedy is anexperience of underinvolvement, of detachment.(Against Interpretation, "Notes on Camp”)Madness Sanity is a cozy lie.(Against Interpretation, "Notes on Camp”)Perversity Perversity is the muse of modern literature.(Against Interpretation, “Camus”)
7 Related sayings on Beauty The good is the beautiful.---Plato (428? BC - 347? BC), Greek philosopher. LysiasLiving well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.Socrates (470? BC - 399? BC), Greek philosopher, 399? BC.“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is allYe know on earth, and all ye need to know.John Keats ( ), British poet. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"Now I say: the beautiful is the symbol of the morally good.---Immanuel Kant ( ), German philosopher.Critique of JudgementIt is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.---Leo Tolstoy ( ), Russian writer. The Kreutzer Sonata
8 Beauty alone makes all the world happy, and every being forgets its limitations as long as it experiences her enchantment.--- Friedrich von Schiller ( ), German poet, playwright andhistorian. On the Aesthetic Education of ManBeauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.---David Hume ( ), Scottish philosopher andhistorian. Essays, Moral and Political, "Of Tragedy"Beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder.---Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (1855? ), Irish novelist.Molly Bawn
9 Analysis of the Text 2. Purpose of the text 1. Central idea of the text2. Purpose of the text3. Organizational pattern of the text4. Tone and style of the text
10 Organizational pattern of the text Greek definition of “beauty” (total, integrated concept of excellence, an overall virtue) (para. 1)Conventional attitude toward “beauty” --- “beauty” beingsplit off and losing prestige (paras. 2-4)Influence of Christian tradition: taking “beauty” as“alienated, arbitrary, superficial enchantment”2) Influence of other social prejudices in the last twocenturies: attributing “beauty” to only one of the twosexes: the Fair/Second Sex, women
11 The oppression of women derived from the degraded, split-off notion of “beauty” and how men and women regard this concept differently(paras. 5-7)Social pressure: women’s identity depends largely on how sheLOOKS --- encouraging narcissism, dependence, immaturity (in contrast to men, whose identity depends on what he IS or DOES )2) Women’s voluntary acceptance: women trapped in and willinglyaccepting the stereotyped obligation to aim at a “perfect”appearance (in contrast to men, whose “imperfection” inappearance is considered preferable by both male and femalestandards)
12 Dilemma of the Fair Sex --- beauty as a catch-22 for women (paras. 8-9)1) Beauty: a power to negate itself2) Beauty: an obligation neither to be engaged in nor tobe disposed ofA call on women and the whole society to get out of the trapcreated by the split-off concept of “beauty” and the resultingoppression of women (para. 10)
13 Difficult passages: para. 10 1. “One could hardly …. the oppression of women.”---The story of the oppression of women, which has had a long history and seems to be going on endlessly, is both lamentable and laughable; it serves as the most powerful proof to show how harmful it can be to judge a person by refusing to put into consideration both inner beauty and outer beauty together.2. “But to get out of the trap …. Saving beauty from women --- and for them.”---- Women should disassociate themselves as far as possible from theconventional, biased notion of beauty which seems to flatter but in fact belittlewomen, and see what the full meaning of beauty is, and how its implication ofoverall excellence has been curtailed so as to support the traditional but false notionof what women should be like. The word “beauty” with its original meaning in Greekto denote a total , integrated concept of excellence should be saved from merelyfunctioning as a compliment (with certain demeaning overtones) for women. Onlywhen the reputation of this word has been restored can it be possible that women,to whom the word “beautiful ” is applied, be regarded properly.
14 Major argumentative devices: 1) Definition: etymological connection between beauty and virtus2) Contrast: Greek tradition vs. Christian tradition; classic concept (of “beauty”) vs. modern concept; women vs. men (different self-recognition, different social roles, different expectations on one’s own appearance)(Refer to textbook p )
15 Related discussion on the “Beauty Myth” Wolf, Naomi (1962- ), American feminist writer, born in SanFrancisco and educated at Yale University. She attended theUniversity of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, best known for herbook The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used AgainstWomen (1990), perhaps the youngest literary celebrity of thewomen's movement.In The Beauty Myth, Wolf argued that the pressure to bebeautiful had become contemporary culture's most effectiveform of control over women. According to Wolf, womenflooded the workforce, thereby posing an economic threat tomen. Society's expectation that women cultivate personalbeauty served as the latest weapon against women, Wolfasserted, because it required that women spend so much time,money, and emotional effort trying to be beautiful that theywere left with no energy to compete economically.
16 Naomi WolfWith the publication of her first two books, The Beauty Myth (1990) and Fire With Fire (1993), American feminist writer Naomi Wolf became a literary celebrity of the women’s movement in the early and mid-1990s. A frequent lecturer on college campuses, Wolf worked to make feminism relevant to a new generation. In Wolf’s view, the task facing women in the last decade of the 20th century was to capitalize on the political power that they possessed but had not yet learned to wield effectively.
17 Quotations from Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women Beauty The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us.Feminism The affluent, educated, liberated women of the FirstWorld...do not feel as free as they want to...This lack of freedom hassomething to do with—with apparently frivolous issues.Feminism The beauty myth of the present is more insidious(阴险的)than any mystique of femininity yet: A century ago, Noraslammed the door of the doll's house...where women are trappedtoday, there is no door to slam.Feminism We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminismthat uses images of female beauty as a political weapon againstwomen's advancement: the beauty myth.
20 Robert RedfordAmerican stage and motion-picture actor and director. Robert Redford won an Academy Award for best director with his 1980 film Ordinary People. The next year he founded the Sundance Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes independent American films.
21 Organization of the text Section 1 (Para 1-3): Contrast the ancient notion of “beauty” with the modern concept to introduce the topicDegradation of the notion of “beauty”BEAUTY(Greek) Overall excellence ……… (physical + moral; female + male)(Christianity) Superficial enchantment …… (physical; female + male)(Contemporary) Female good looks only …… (physical, female)
22 Section II (Para 4-7) Illustrating how women and men are viewed/treated differently to support the argument: the oppression of women –Section III (Para 8-9 ) Pointing out how society’s gender stereotypeshave affected adversely the development of women (e.g. encouragingnarcissism, dependence, immaturity, passive acceptance …etc)Section IV (Para. 10) Calling on women and the whole society to get outof the trap created by the “myth of beauty” and the resultingoppression of women.
23 Language points lamely - (lit) unable to walk; (extended) When used to describe an excuse, argument, remark as “lame”, itmeans “weak”, “poor” （牵强的、勉强的、站不住脚) e.g.(I didn’t hand in the assignment). My lame excuse was that I had too much else to do.(He didn’t say “hello” to me the other day we met.) “I didn’t recognize you,” he saidlamely.occur to----come into (someone’s mind).Examples:It suddenly occurred to him that he had to attend an important meeting that afternoon.It never occurred to me that the Shanghai Botanical Garden could be so spacious.
24 paradoxical---incongruous, contradictory. Example: It is paradoxical that an intelligent child like him should write such a poor hand.It is paradoxical that the loneliest people live in the most crowded places.paradox(n.) ----a situation which involves two opposite facts. Examples:There are a lot of paradoxes in real life.It is a paradox that racial discrimination and protection of human rights shouldcoexist in some countries.be wary of/about ---- be cautious about possible danger or problem.Example:People are understandably wary of the new government.Having been taken in several times by street peddlers, he is now very wary of them.I’m very wary about believing these stories.
25 pedagogue --- (archaic/derogatory) school master, teacher (教书匠) pedagogy – science of teaching 教学法deprive…of ---take …away from. Examples:Women in some places in the world today are still deprived of the right to vote.A serious case of trachoma deprived him of his eyesight.set adrift (also turn adrift ) - (lit) to leave (someone or a boat) to float on the water without direction. Example:The sailors, after quarreling with their captain, set him adrift on the ocean in an open boat.- (fig.) isolate the word, single out the word to mean
26 attribute … to --- to believe sth. as the result of Examples: Economists attributed the lack of progress to poor cooperation. （….认为…原因在于）Jim attributed his success to hard work. (归功于)lose prestige---lose significance, lose prominenceprestige---general respect or admiration felt for someone or something because they have high quality, success, etc. Example:Several universities in China enjoy international prestige.1. demean --- If you demean yourself or sth, you do sth which makes people have less respect for you. Example:He has demeaned his office by lying. (渎职)They regard these jobs as demeaning and degrading.
27 overtone --- suggesting sth, without saying openly. Example: The play has heavy political overtones. (implications 政治色彩)accumulate--- make or become greater in number or quantity.Examples:By reading a few pages of literary works in English every day, he soon accumulated alarge and useful English vocabulary.Our knowledge accumulates if we read widely.vestige – a very small part of it, a part that remains after all the rest has gone. Example:There was not any vestige of freedom in this ancient kingdom.
28 in the throes of --- in the middle of doing something very difficult in the throes of --- in the middle of doing something very difficult.; be deeply involved in something, Examples:The country was in the throes of political reform.The company was then in the throes of reorganization. 正处于改制的混乱和痛苦中）We are in the throes of drawing a blueprint for the reorganization of the Students’ Union.throes as a plural noun meaning “intense or violent pain and struggle”, e.g. , death throes.identify…with ---1） consider two things as being the same; equate with; associate with. Example:Some people identify book learning with work efficiency.Never identify opinions with fact. （想法不等于事实）2）to feel sympathy for sb. ExampleReading this book, we can identify with the main character’s struggle.
29 evaluate --- judge the value of. Example: The teacher’s work is regularly evaluated in that school.confirm --- give support to a fact by proving more proof. Example:He was told that his acceptance of the job must be confirmed by a formal letter.a declared Robert Redford fan --- an enthusiastic/a faithful supporterof Robert Redforddeclared --- openly admitted as 公开表白的. Example:His grandfather is a declared follower of Confucius’s teachings.fan --- a keen supporter of a sport, performing art, person, etc., e.g., a football fan, a movie fan
30 immense --- extremely large or great, especially in size or degree. depreciation of women --- the devaluation of women; the decrease in value of women ; the lowering of women’s statusDepreciation is often used to refer to the decrease in the value of a currency or of an asset.immense --- extremely large or great, especially in size or degree.Examples:What he said about our moral duties was of immense importance.The local Science and Technology Museum is just immense. You can hardly see all the exhibits there in one daylamentable --1) (of an event, action, or attitude) unfortunate, regrettable. Example:His prejudice against the underachievers is lamentable.2) (of circumstances or conditions) very bad or unsatisfactory. Example:The service provided by the hotel was simply lamentable.
31 censure --- harsh criticism (c.f. censor （新闻检查） census （人口普查） conceiveA politician conceives the world as a variety of conflicts. (consider)A Price & Incomes policy was boldly conceived.(work out)He can never conceive of such a thing happening to himself. (imagine)The boy had been conceived on their honeymoon. (become pregnant)censure --- harsh criticism (c.f. censor （新闻检查） census （人口普查）19.disparage --- (rather formal) regard as being of little worth; speak about without respect Example:to disparage someone for sth/doing sth.Do not disparage other’s efforts in carrying out the work.
32 saving beauty from women --- and for them - save … from …: to preserve/protect sth/sb.from danger/ruin etc.save …for …: to put sth. such as money/supply away until a certain time or for some purpose.How can the city save these fine old buildings from destruction?They saved the precious records from fire.Let’s save the best wine for the party.I’m trying to save as much of my income as I can for my old age.Note the emphatic use of the preposition, e.g. the famous usage in Gettysburg Address:… we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that this government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
33 Text II Sexism in English: A Feminist View Analysis of the textThesis:(Title ) Sexism in English(end of Para 3) “how really deep-seated sexism is in our communication system”Organization:1. Presenting the topic(Para 1-3)n starting with the observation on the relation between CULTURE andLANGUAGE, to bring in the topic for discussion, i.e.“how our language (English) reflects the sexual discrimination in ourculture.”
34 2. Giving evidence to show sexism in English (linguistic evidence) Evidence of sexism in English1) Words that originated from people’s names (para 4-6)MASCULINEFEMININEMore in quantityFewer in numberRelated toachievements/accomplishmentsRelated to body (physical features)(implications)Man is successfulWoman is sexy2) Geographical names (para 7-9)preoccupation with women’s breasts
35 3) Pairs of words / cognate terms /male-female counterparts (with different semantic features)MASCULINEFEMININEEXAMPLESserious, businesslikesexual connotationcallboy vs. call girlsuggesting respect, dignitySir vs. Madammaster vs. mistressmore functional in word formation1) forming compoundsmaster + plan / copy /trust /charge; concert master, toast master etc. mistress in few compounds2) taking affixesa) masculine as base, feminine subordinateusher usheretteheir heiressb) masculine forming compounds feminine having dead endkingdom (not *queendom)sportsmanshipc) exception (sex and marriage)prostitute male prostitutewidow widowerbride bridegroom
36 III. Discussion and assignment: 3. Conclusion (English is a male-centred language)III. Discussion and assignment:Give further examples to show sexism in EnglishSome examples to elicit students’ contribution1. Different associations:Masculine Femininethe man in the street a woman of the streeta male pirate female piratebachelor spinstergovernor governess2. Vulgarism in feminine wordse.g. movie queen, beauty queen
37 3. Up-gradation in masculine words marshal (马夫 to be upgraded to mean 元帅) craftsman4. Priority given to masculine words in order 先男后女host and hostessbrother and sisterhusband and wifeAdam and EveSon and daughterHe or sheKing and queen(With the only exception: “Ladies and gentlemen”!)5. Existence of female exclusive termsChairman, spokesman, businessman, man power (work man policeman)