“Notes on Camp” Response


CC Flickr Kenneth Moyle

According to Susan Sontag, “Camp” is a sensibility. It is “something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques” (Sontag, 1964). After reading this definition, I was still unclear about the subject, though she does make it clear that it’s not an idea. I may have grasped the idea of what “Camp” is when the random examples list is discussed and a Tiffany lamp is among those on the list. I find it very useless to have a Tiffany lamp because I feel that it would be expensive for no reason at all but other would adore it because it’s Tiffany. My definition was made clearer when Sontag include No. 6 in the Notes for Oscar Wilde portion of the essay. When something is too good or too important, it can’t be “Camp”, maybe because it’s not artsy enough?

From this essay I gathered these things about CAMP:

  • It is not an idea
  • It is not too important
  • It is artsy
  • It is innocent
  • It is a sensibility
  • It is a glorification of character
  • Many things can be “campy”
  • Campy things are to be enjoyed

I’d still like more clarification.


One comment

  1. I was pretty confused on what the meaning of “Camp” was as well. Your list on elements that make up the meaning of Camp really helped to clarify some things and give me a better sense of what Susan Sontag was trying to explain.

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