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Hebdige_Subculture - DICK HEBDIGE SUBCULTURE First...

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DICK HEBDIGE First published i n 1979 by Methuen & Co. Ltd Reprinted ten times Rep'nted 1987 Repn'nted 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 by Routledge 1 I New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 0 1979 Dick Hebdige Printed i n England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any f a n or by any electronic, mechandqal, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or i n any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writingporn the publishers. Britbh Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available Library of Congress Cataloguing i n Publication Data available ISBN 0-41 5-03949-5 SUBCULTURE THE MEANING OF STYLE L O N D O N A N D N E W Y O R K
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I managed to get about twenty photographs, and with bits of chewed bread I pasted them on the back of the cardboard sheet of regulations that hangs on the wall. Some are pinned up with bits of brass wire which the foreman brings me and on which I have to string coloured glass beads. Using the same beads with which i the prisoners next door make funeral wreaths, I have made star-shaped frames for the most purely criminal. In I I the evening, as you open your window to the street, I turn i the back of the redation sheet towards me. Smiles and I sneers, alike inexorable, enter me by all the holes I offer.. . . They watch over my little routines. (Genet, I 966a) i A sion, is confiscated by the Spanish poiice during a raid. This 'dirty, wretched object', proclaiming his homosexual- ity to the world, becoma for Genet a kind of guarantee - ! 'the sign of a secret grace which was soon to save me £ram contempt'. The discovery of the .vaseline is greeted with laughter in the record-office of the station, and the p~lict
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2 SUBCULTURE: THE MEANING O F STYLE INTRODUCTION: SUBCULTURE AND STYLE Q 'smelling of garlic, sweat and oil, but . . . strong in their ofa sinister presence - the presence of difference - and draw moral assurance' subject Genet to a tirade of hostile down upon themselves vague suspicions, uneasy laughter, innuendo. The author joins in the laughter too ('though 'white and dumb rages'. On the other hand, for those who painfully') but later, in his cell, 'the image of the tube of erect them into icons, who use them as words or as curses, vaseline never l e me'. these objects become signs of forbidden identity, sources of value. Recalling his humiliation at the hands of the police, I was sure that this puny and most humble object would Genet finds consolation in the tube of vaseline. It becomes hold its own against them; by its mere presence it would a symbol of his 'triumph' - 'I would indeeed rather have be able to exasperate all the police in the world; it would I I shed blood than repudiate that silly object' (Genet, draw down upon itself contempt, hatred, white and dumb rages. (Genet, 1967) 1967).
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