Tag Archives: Richard Sennett

The Fall of Public Man 4

I finished The Fall of Public Man yesterday, and it has seriously unsettled me. I need to turn somewhere else after this, because I’m afraid it’s left me terribly depressed. Sennett, to his credit, hasn’t really had to reverse his somewhat dark estimation of the health of society in the intervening years since 1974. If […]

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The Fall of Public Man (3)

I realize now that my previous post lept over an important part in its discussion of acting. Acting, as explored by Sennett, was a dominant metaphor for the role of people in public environments prior to the eighteenth century. Prior to his discussion of Diderot’s Paradox, he discusses theatrum mundi as the operating image for man in […]

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The Fall of Public Man (2)

My previous post was oddly prescient. As I’ve progressed further into the book, I’ve stopped today at a section which discusses the relationship between text and performance. To get there, Sennett has passed through fascinating discussions of fashion and done a comparative section about the emergence of “personality” in the 19th century, as opposed to “nature” […]

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The Fall of Public Man

Richard Sennett’s thesis in The Fall of Public Man revolves around a central presumption: a fundamental part of how humans express themselves is through play-acting. This rings so many bells with some of my prior research into visual rhetoric, especially with regard to how we interpret artifacts. Watching a movie on PBS Independent Lens a […]

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“What social conditions encourage people to display their feelings to others in such a way that some sympathetic response, some arousal occurs? Under what conditions do do human beings tap their creative powers to make ordinary experience expressive? These questions are ways of asking when, if ever, the human being naturally and without fuss calls […]

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