This week Eirini Apanomeritaki introduces a discussion of changing perceptions of beauty.
How has our perception of beauty changed from antiquity to the present? The Judgement of Paris, a beauty contest among three goddesses, is one of the earliest stories of women being treated according to their appearance and their ability to please men. In comparing standards of beauty as depicted in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, and in third-wave feminist Marie Darrieussecq’s Pig Tales, we will discuss how the perception and judgement of beauty have changed. Apuleius’s theatrical rendering of the Judgement of Paris, through the donkey-narrator’s views on the pantomime, highlights Paris’s inadequacy as a judge who succumbs to Venus’s sensuality too hastily. Darrieussecq’s post-modern tale, told by a pig-woman, shows the mutation of beauty into animality and monstrosity, as a result of culturally inscribed gender roles.
References and Poster:
Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. by P.G. Walsh, Oxford World’s Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), Book X, pp. 212-215.
Darrieussecq, Marie, Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation, trans. by Linda Coverdale (London: Faber and Faber, 1997). The novel was originally published in France as Truismes (1996).
Myth Reading Group
Thursday 5 November
12:00-1:30pm Room 3.318