Another thing I'd absolutely be for is, we're just surrounded with meretriciousness
and mendacity in every aspect of our immediate life.
The volume opens with James Davidson's "Making a Spectacle of Her(self): The Greek Courtesan and the Art of the Present," which introduces the idea of a collaboration of sorts between "meretriciousness
and music" (41).
Yet in Lucien's choice of subject matter, he betrays his own ideal--no longer elevating painting to a level of celestial perfection but cheapening it by recycling imagery from the pre-Raphaelites: the gaudy meretriciousness
of chrysoprase and chalcedony, a morbid horticulture of tubercular orchids and expiring lilies, an art of doe-eyed androgynes "en robes semblables a des queues de paon" (117).
Land" emphasizes the meretriciousness
of the indigenous Southern
The equation of the Patimkins' opulence, despite its meretriciousness
to which Neil is no less keenly responsive, with the lushness of Tahiti is evident in Neil's Marvellian apostrophe: "Oh Patimkin!
Although Larkin famously disliked poetry readings ("a wonderful new way of being paranoiacally boring" [RW 137]), it was because they encouraged meretriciousness
: "they have to get an instant response, which tends to vulgarize" (RW 66).
The tedium of the material does not, of course, preclude the possibility of an engaging historical narrative: one can well imagine a striking, entertaining volume based on boring sources, the sharp blade of the author's critical mind cutting through the unappealing surface to the core of political machinations, decoding the language anti reading between the lines, spurring the reader to outrage at the combination of meretriciousness
and ruthless ambition that characterized the proletarian music movement.
For all the meretriciousness
and shallowness of the British media, it has a long way still to go before it catches up with ours in sheer self-obsession.
Winthrop and Mansfield are confident that an immersion in Democracy in America will help to induce the `salutary fear' and noble seriousness, once provided by the bracing religion of old Massachusetts, that are needed to energise anyone in danger of being demoralised by mass complacency and meretriciousness
. Tocqueville's faith in `moderate, yet steadfast efforts', as opposed to grand political and philosophical projects, is seen as the best approach in forestalling the evils of exaggerated individualism, the chief of which seems to be creeping statism.