The role of clothing in the pre-bourgeois ambience of Kersnik’s novels
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The article focuses on the analysis of women’s and men’s clothing appearances in the pre-bourgeois ambience of Kersnik’s novels. Particular clothing items and clothing appearances indicate the presence of specifi c spiritual and social characteristics, typical for the cultural and historical environment in which the two literary works were created. The methodological approach of the analysis in terms of theory is based on general semiotic theory (Eco, Lotman), cultural semiotics (Barthes), literary theory and literary history, Lotman’s symbol theory, clothing culture, discourse analysis and Bourdieu’s theory of habitus. The article discusses separately the clothing appearances of male and female characters. The descriptions of clothing appearances reveal the socio-historical background of the literary works as well as many other abstract categories such as characters’ mental states, their ideologies, political beliefs, positive and negative character attributes as well as their moral virtues and vices. Clothes as part of the pre-bourgeois habitus try to establish a balance between the urban and the rural, between prestige and humility, between refi nement and coarseness. Irony is often a result of the contrast between the physical determinants and the associate variable, i.e. the clothing. The author uses a range of various clothing appearances to characterize and mock different classes of people; the trivial conversations about fashion denote the banality of social life; the differences between the “true” bourgeoisie and those who strive to reach and fi t into that social class are already strongly indicated in the descriptions of their external appearances.
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