The Age of Innocence

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Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, as many of you might know, is the book off of which Gossip Girl was based. Gossip Girl is famously glamorous and exaggerated, but it is not quite Camp. Edith Wharton’s novel, on the other hand, seems to have become Camp with age. Sontag explains; “It’s simply that the process of aging of deterioration provides the necessary detachment.” The Age of Innocence portrays the materialism and love triangles of Gossip Girl, but the drama is set in a time so far before ours that we have the opportunity to view it as Camp. As Sontag notes several times, it is the absurdity of it all that makes The Age of Innocence “Camp”. The tale of the 19th century’s New York high society is, as Sontag might say, “the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naive.”

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