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M. Lopez
2nd September 2005, 05:05
Hi. Just wanted to note that Lands' End has released the rest of its fall lineup, featuring many beautiful new images of Barbara Brickner:

http://aka.landsend.com/is/image/LandsEnd/55040_AE05_M1_CHE_M.jpg

But one that I think will be of special interest to some of you literature-lovers is the image on this page, which shows Barbara in a vintage library setting, in front of shelves full of both new books and beautiful old tomes:

http://www.landsend.com/cd/fp/prod/0,,1_2_1930_61058_132260_110707_5:view=-1,00.html?CM_MERCH=PAGE_61057&sid=6222125235046117021

I can't help but look at the image and think that, with Barbara's timeless charm, it's like she herself stepped out of one of those ancient sagas - an enchantress whose beauty was immortalized by the poets for all ages.

HSG
2nd September 2005, 22:59
<br>We can only hope that the current trend of featuring literary references in popular promotions--whether textually, or visually--will help initiate a revival of interest in the written legacy of Western culture, which is just as rich and exciting--and just as appreciative of plus-size beauty--as is its artistic legacy.

In <i>The Decline of the West,</i> Spengler contrasts the effects of reading books as opposed to newspapers (the dominant organ of the mass media in his day). Spengler writes:<p><blockquote><i>Democracy has by its newspaper completely expelled the book from the mental life of the people. The book-world, <strong>with its profusion of standpoints that compelled thought to select and criticize</strong>, is now a real possession only for a few. The people read the one paper, "its" paper, which forces itself through the front doors by millions daily, spellbinds the intellect from morning to night, drives the book into oblivion by its more engaging layout, and if one or another specimen of a book does emerge into visibility, forestalls and eliminates its possible effects by "reviewing" it.</i> (II, 461)</blockquote><p>Whereas literature compels the reader to engage in a mental dialogue with the text, encouraging him to appraise, assess, and contemplate the ideas before him, the modern media simply indoctrinates the reader into one point of view.

If Spengler's contention is true (and his contentions invariably are), then this displacement of literature by the mass media is at least partially responsible for the obliteration of timeless beauty by modern culture. As the mass media flourished, the public grew less accustomed to <i>engaging</i> text personally (i.e., literary reading), and more accustomed to simply absorbing its content (i.e., media watching). Consequently, the populace became ever more vulnerable to media brainwashing, and as a result, their natural inclinations (aesthetic and otherwise) were overwritten by artificial, media-prescribed standards.

Let us hope that we are now witnessing a reawakening of interest in great literature, and that this will help the public build up a defense against media indoctrination, and rediscover the suppressed image of beauty that remains locked in the human heart.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/bb/bl09.jpg"></center>