glamourPROJECTS gallery


William A. Nericcio
Associate Professor
Office hours for Dr. W. Nericcio are from
1 to 3:30 on Mondays in AH 4117
bio email links

Estela Eaton
Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant Extraordinaire

 lam, glamour, glamorous--perhaps the first thing we think of when we see these words are the concepts “beauty,” “celebrity,” and “allure.” That first word “beauty” is at the heart of the field of AESTHETICS, which is supposed to be what at least HALF this CompLit 595 course in “Literature and Aesthetics” is about--so we are safe there; covering all the bases we are. But GLAMOUR has a secret. GLAMOUR isa secret. At the heart of GLAMOUR is nestled a curse, a charm, a spell and certain “darkness” that you and I don’t always think about when we lose ourselves in reverie or fantasy about the GLAMOROUS. The gossipy OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY outssaid secret: “glamour, n. glaumour. [Originally Sc., introduced into the literary language by Scott. A corrupt form of GRAMMAR; for the sense cf. GRAMARYE (and F. grimoire), and for the form GLOMERY.]”--so the first secret is that GLAMOUR and GRAMMAR share a past: don’t worry, however, this WILL NOT be a class in dangling modifiers, , and tense-shift debates.The OED continues: “1. Magic, enchantment, spell; esp. in the phrase to cast the glamour over one (see quot. 1721). 2. a. A magical or fictitious beauty attaching to any person or object; a delusive or alluring charm. b. Charm; attractiveness; physical allure, esp. feminine beauty.” Infected now with the OED’s knowledge of GLAMOUR’s secret past, we will read books, watch movies ,and study art and photography that exposes subtle links between the realms of beauty and magic, aesthetics and enchantment--fine art as a spell we welcome and dread.

Required Films (Screened in Class)

Billy Wilder
Sunset Boulevard

Joseph Mankiewicz
All About Eve

Russ Meyer
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Required Books

Hyper Mental

L C 



Man Ray

Carlos Fuentes

Jacqueline Susann 

Gore Vidal

Optional Books

Picture of Dorian Gray 



There will be one formal essay 12 to 15 pages in length; shorter essay assignments may be required as well.  In addition there will be an in-class final exam and quizzes if and only if students begin to behave like silly, anti-literature freshman nimrods!




Major Imagination Challenge Prompts / Comparative Literature 595, Dr. W. Nericcio
Please use the MLA bibliography stylesheet to organize your 'works cited.' free info on the mla-style of citation notation is here:  Best of luck!

Your project is due in my office, 4117 Adams Humanities,  Monday, November 24, 2003 at classtime, 3:30pm; slide it under my door or hand it to me.  If I am out, you are also free to turn it in to the main English Dept. office; they will see that it gets to my mailbox. The details?  12 to 15 pages, double-spaced typed (note: this page-count refers to the amount of typed prose you are to aim for--you are free to illustrate your article with as many illustration pages as you please).

1. Future Literary Critics: Defend, Attack or Modify the following statement:  Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and Carlos Fuentes’s Aura explore the dynamic interconnection of glamour and psychology.

2. Graphics Devotees: Specifically referencing useful, succinct passages and images gleaned from Emmerling’s profile of Basquiat, Curiger’s HYPERMENTAL  and Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, explore the nature of “pathology” in the works of the selested authors.

3. Movie/Book Fetishists: Billy Wilder co-writes and directs a movie, Sunset Boulevard; Carlos Fuentes writes a novel, Aura:  Curiously enough, each vehicle shares a similar concern with protagonists who are obsessed with resurrecting the past; consider the connection between nostalgia, glamour and psycho-pathology in these works. 

4. Free Thinkers: Design your own thesis using any two of the works we have read or will read on your syl-labus.  Type up your proposal/abstract and present it to me after class Monday, November 10, for approval, editing or discussion. 

5. LitCRIT: You are a writer for a literary journal trying to make the case that there are real intel-lec-tual profits to be derived from a compara-tive treatment of film and literature.  Your editor tosses you Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and  Myra Breckinridge and says the following: “Russ Meyer, director and Gore Vidal, writer, share simi-lar interests and, at times, derive similar conclusions. Select one area where their work overlaps and thought-fully discuss the implications of this textual in-terphase.”  Write that es-say.

6. Gender-Text: Are women and men glamorous in the same way in Literature and Film?  In other words, how does a sensitivity to the dynamics of gender augment what it is we think we mean when we say someone is glammerifick?  Use three texts (film, fic-tion or graphic analysis)  to craft your answer.

7. The Politics of Glamour/The Glamour of Politics: consider the role of glamour as it impacts upon the dynamics of politics in Susan Daitch’s LC.  Contrast this with any other two works you’ve encountered in this class this term.

MENU--day to day glamLIST
week one

1 sept
no class--Labor Day

week two

8 sept
class introduction--the concept of glamour; the notion of enchantment; the coming together of spectacle, ectacy, desire and the grotesque in glamour.

week three

15 sept
cultural studies day wherein we, following in the footsteps of critics like ROLAND BARTHES, MICHEL FOUCAULT and JEAN BAUDRILLARD (a trynamic trio of Gaulic wisdom), attend to the problematization of the concept of GLAMOUR.  How?  The assignment has been to walk into the room with two magazines from periodical safari: one, that represents the most sophisticated, complex, innovative, even disturbing approach to the concept of glamour; the other? one that best embodies the most insipid, typical, banal and lazy thoughtlessness when it comes to glamour.  in class, we will have a discussion on these and other related ideas.  this was our LAST class in Adams Humanities as our next class moved to Comminications 207.

week four

22 sept
 Billy Wilder day in the house of GLAMOUR as we come together to screen the magnificent SUNSET BOULEVARD; among other things, Wilder's opus, starring the inimitable Gloria Swanson and the dashing William Holden, represents the best exploration of the psychological consequences of glamour yet filmed--only ALL ABOUT EVE by Joseph Mankiewicz, released the same year (1950), comes close.  No discussion today, but we will have a joint discussion of SUNSET BOULEVARD and AURA next week.

resource link so you 'picture' DONCELES street where AURA is set:

week five

29 sept
today we enter our new classroom, the LITTLE THEATER, adjacent HEPNER HALL.  in class we will consider jointly the singular meditations on glamour courtesy of billy wilder and carlos fuentes.

week six

6 oct
we move from the world of film and literature into the realm of art, art history, the art scene, and artBu$iness--enter the cavernous LITTLE THEATER having devoured ALL of the Honnef Book on Warhol and HALF of the HYPERMENTAL Collection!  Surrealists were the glamourARTSdolls of the 20th century; their legacy continues to alter the trajectory of world arts history.  consider this and other ideas as you work through these collections.

week seven

13 oct

we continue our tour of the world of ART, the art scene and the dynamics of glamour and celebrity in the field of art with our reading of emmerling's book on BASQUIAT; also, finish the HYPERMENTAL collection for class today.  a thought to consider: what is the antithesis of glamour?

 week eight

20 october

enter class having read the first 300 pages or so of Jacqueline Susann's VALLEY OF THE DOLLS

27 october

Fires Cancel Class


Monday, November 3

finish Susann's tasty trashy glamfest novel--in class, we will screen Joseph Mankiewicz's heady meditation on fame and desire, ALL ABOUT EVE.

Monday November 10

As promised here is my cyberprompt for our discussions next Monday.  Of course, looking forward, I want you to read and enjoy the first half Susan Daitch's amazing LC.  LC is a triptych novel by a talented young American author that focuses on the lives of three women through three centuries.  It will not be readily apparent at first what is at all 'glam' in this novel--but do keep an eye on the dynamics of revolution, art, collusion and love/lust as the novel unfolds.

But even as you read I want you to look back as well and think about the schlock/lurid opus by J. Susann and the amazing collaboration that was ALL ABOUT EVE, led by the inimitable Joseph Mankiewicz.

Both Susann and Mankiewicz weave luscious allegories of lust, ambition, desire, the theater, Hollywood and glamour that focus around, about and ON the figure of women--this, I would argue is not an accident.

Somewhere in the enchantment and magic and allure of glamour hovers a defining ghost we might want to identify as 'female.'  So that we would never allow ourselves the luxury of defining the matrix of glamour in any other way but as somehow contaminated, infiltrated or supplemented by the very real presence of a woman or women.

This is important as it harkens back to our early semester meditations on gender and glamour.

In preparation for our discussion next Monday, contrast the tactics of Mankiewicz and Susann when it comes to their dynamic, distinct yet somehow also synergistic dissections of 'glamour.'

Read the first half of Susan Daitch's LC!!!!!

Monday, November 17

Finish the second half of Daitch's LC

Monday, November 24 

NO CLASS / Thanksgiving BREAK / Essay due!

Monday, December 1

Enter class having 'read'  Taschen's portfolio of MAN RAY's prints.


Monday, December 8

Final Exam in class

older announcements

 CLT 595 major essay prompts
Please use the MLA bibliography stylesheet to organize your 'works cited.' free info on the mla-style of citation notation is here:  Best of luck!
 Daitch's LCnote: this 2mb pdf file will take a while to load if you use a dialup modem!

 Discussion Prompt for November 10

cool book/glamour event this weekend in LA