Born in Italy in the second half of the 1940s and a wildly successful global publication format until the 1970s, photoromances, aka fumetti in the United States, are a form of graphic storytelling that uses photographs instead of drawings and whose form and content are heavily indebted to the cliches of serialized melodrama (some critics have called them TV soap operas in magazine format). From the very beginning, the medium was crudely mocked—if not directly attacked—as a prototypical example of cultural manipulation, from the side of those who shamelessly exploited it, as well as alienation, from the side of its supposedly stupid and self-deceiving female readership. Photoromances were scorned as the lowest of the low in the field of popular literature, and for many decades they remained largely ignored by academic research. Other types of “trash,” from comic books to porn, have had their fans and defenders from the very...
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December 22 2021
The Photoromance: A Feminist Reading of Popular Culture
THE PHOTOROMANCE: A FEMINIST READING OF POPULAR CULTUREby
Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.,
Online Issn: 1530-9282
Print Issn: 0024-094X
Leonardo (2021) 54 (6): 694–695.
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Jan Baetens; The Photoromance: A Feminist Reading of Popular Culture. Leonardo 2021; 54 (6): 694–695. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_r_02157
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