In The Perils of Uglytown, Harry Berger, Jr., considers a variety of texts and images ranging from those of Thucydides and Plato to those of Shakespeare and Rembrandt. The Introduction explains the key concept of the study, structural misanthropology, a variant on Claude Levi-Strauss's idea of structural anthropology. Part I explores its activity in several Platonic dialogues: Lysis, Crito, Phaedo, The Republic, and Timaeus. Part II turns to the Renaissance in Italy, England, and the Netherlands. Structural misanthropology is discussed first in the work of several Italian humanists (Alberti, Leonardo, Castiglione, and Vasari), then in English drama (Gorbuduc and several plays by Shakespeare), and finally in group portraits by Hals and Rembrandt. The Perils of Uglytown applies and brings up to date the methods of interpretation Berger has developed during the past half-century in his many studies of literature, drama, philosophy, social and cultural studies, and the visual arts.
Perils of Uglytown
Fordham University Press
Studies in Structural Misanthropology from Plato to Rembrandt