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The Stillness of SolitudeRomanticism and Contemporary American Independent Film$
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Michelle Devereaux

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474446044

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474446044.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 June 2021

‘It’s not too much, is it?’: Keats, Fancy and the Ethics of Pleasurable Excess in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

‘It’s not too much, is it?’: Keats, Fancy and the Ethics of Pleasurable Excess in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

Chapter:
(p.144) 6. ‘It’s not too much, is it?’: Keats, Fancy and the Ethics of Pleasurable Excess in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Source:
The Stillness of Solitude
Author(s):

Michelle Devereaux

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474446044.003.0007

This chapter explores Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette in relation to personal subjectivity and excess, specifically drawing on notions of poetic fancy, modernity, gender and ‘unwholesome’ consumption, and the poetry of John Keats. Coppola’s emphasis on sensation and surfaces elicits what Keats refers to as the ‘material sublime’, an engagement with sensory excess contrasted with the core subjectivity the Romantic sublime invokes. The film is compared to Keats’ Lamia, an allegorical poem about attempted psychological recuperation through aesthetic excess, as well as Colin Campbell’s description of ‘modern autonomous imaginative hedonism’. The chapter also engages with the ‘depth model’ of Romantic subjecthood that Coppola brings to the fore when Marie Antoinette’s bulwark of sensory pleasure is stripped away, along with its attendant aesthetic function, signalling not just the maturation found in her ethical acknowledgement of the suffering of others, but also her imminent death.

Keywords:   Keats, material sublime, Lamia, hedonism, Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette

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