Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kitsch


To me, kitsch means pretty much what Kundera says it is, “shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist”. This does not literally mean that shit/poop/feces does not exist. I think kitsch holds a lot more weight (how punny) than just meaning excrement. Kitsch refers to all the horrible, nasty, uncouth, mean, derogatory, unacceptable, disgusting, mean, unkind, violent, and negative things that pervade the world that humans live in. It can mean anything that makes life difficult or that makes humans undergo the trials and tribulations that make life, well, life. Without these kitschy things, life would be perfect and probably be boring, however the kitschesque things in this world make things different and unique, adding to the diversity of experiences in reality. So to me I think kitsch is not necessarily a bad thing in people's lives and keeps things interesting. I do not believe it is as much of a burden as people in the novel think it is. Sure it's a burden, but it is what keeps you working hard in life and doing things to try and relieve yourself from this kitsch. 

3 comments:

Grant Reggio said...

I sort of agree with Ian, but I feel that ironically, for Sabina, Kitsch is more superficial in the sense that it is the over exaggerated and tacky sentimentality she sees from people who try and therefore succeed at creating meaning for every single action they take, hence they are weighed down by the phony meaningfulness of their own sentimentality.

Madeline Davis said...

I agree with Ian in that I don't think kitsch is always such a bad thing. In the novel, I agree how kitsch in terms of Soviet propaganda is problematic, but I do believe that milder forms of kitsch pervade our daily lives in order to alleviate problems. In my opinion, if we went through our lives completely devoid of kitsch, everyone would be brutally honest and hate each other. I think that kitsch adds a sense of false positivity, but people take such comfort and pleasure in that positivity that it enhances their outlooks on life, which leads to fewer conflicts.

wkuehne said...

I agree with all previous statements. Kundera's explanation of politics through Kitsch is very pertinent to the historical context of Czechoslovakia in the 20th century. Dubcek's liberal movement, initially, seemed to be devoid of Kitsch though. In class we said it is impossible to be without Kitsch, and this may be true in most cases; however, Dubcek had first hand experience of Soviet cold and cruel policies-there was no illusion for Dubcek or the people of Czechoslovakia. As it is so eloquently put by Kundera, the communists sought paradise but missed the mark. Dubcek cut through the communists kitsch and tried to shovel out the "shit" that was covered up. He was anti-Kitsch, without being Kitsch himself.