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The Social Panorama in Context

The Social Panorama in Context

(p.157) 5 The Social Panorama in Context
Diane Arbus's 1960s
Frederick Gross
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter addresses the specific nature of Arbus’s social panorama by examining both the literature and the literary climate pertinent to its conception. Arbus had an unusually close relationship to literature that influenced her approach to the social panorama. Part of this approach must be considered as inextricably linked to the literary and cultural milieu in which she worked. Yet how does this literary and cultural milieu bear out in her panorama of photographs? The chapter examines certain thematic tropes, such as identity, the simulacrum, the split, or “schizophrenic” self, and the undermining of middle-class mores, among others, that Arbus shared with the literature of her times.

Keywords:   Diane Arbus, women photographers, social panorama, literature, photographs, identity, simulacrum, schizophrenic self, middle-class mores

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