The Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric
Yale University Press 2018
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network July 23, 2018 Michael Amico
Did you catch that look? The theory of fabulousness is on the move. In his new book, Fabulous: the Rise of the Beautiful Eccentric (Yale UP, 2018), madison moore explores some of the sites where fabulousness is highly valued, such as the street, the catwalk, the club (including the line to get in), and the body itself. Our hour-long conversation references many personal experiences that capture the ephemeral quality of fabulousness, which can appear in any place, at any time, through any body. madison also speaks of his participation in and organization of the worlds that his scholarship extends. A running theme of our conversation is that fabulousness is never without risk. As he writes, “You can’t understand fabulousness unless you get that it emerges from trauma, duress, exclusion, exhaustion, and depression, and that in some ways being fabulous is the only thing that can get us out of bed in the morning.” There are, of course, groups of people who actively police fabulousness. But its self-making potential resides in all bodies. It is a confidence, and a gift to be shared. You just have to look—and listen—for yourself.
madison moore is a dj, cultural critic, and assistant professor of gender, sexuality and women’s studies. He is also creative director and resident dj at OPULENCE, an art-collective and queer techno party. He has home bases in New York, London, and Berlin.
Michael Amico holds a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. His dissertation, The Forgotten Union of the Two Henrys: A History of the “Peculiar and Rarest Intimacy” of the American Civil War, is about the romance between Henry Clay Trumbull and Henry Ward Camp of the Tenth Connecticut Regiment. He will be a Researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions in Berlin beginning this fall. He is the author, with Michael Bronski and Ann Pellegrini, of You Can Tell Just by Looking: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (Beacon, 2013), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction. He can be reached at email@example.com.