Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth Book

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Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth

By Paula Marantz Cohen
  • ISBN Code: : 9780195343885
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Pages : 234
  • Category : Performing Arts
  • Reads : 817
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : silent-film-and-the-triumph-of-the-american-myth.pdf

Book Excerpt :

Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth connects the rise of film and the rise of America as a cultural center and twentieth-century world power. Silent film, Paula Cohen reveals, allowed America to sever its literary and linguistic ties to Europe and answer the call by nineteenth-century writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman for an original form of expression compatible with American strengths and weaknesses. When film finally began to talk in 1927, the medium had already done its work. It had helped translate representation into a dynamic visual form and had "Americanized" the world. Cohen explores the way film emerged as an American medium through its synthesis of three basic elements: the body, the landscape, and the face. Nineteenth-century American culture had already charged these elements with meaning--the body through vaudeville and burlesque, landscape through landscape painting and moving panoramas, and the face through portrait photography. Integrating these popular forms, silent film also developed genres that showcased each of its basic elements: the body in comedy, the landscape in the western, and the face in melodrama. At the same time, it helped produce a new idea of character, embodied in the American movie star. Cohen's book offers a fascinating new perspective on American cultural history. It shows how nineteenth-century literature can be said to anticipate twentieth-century film--how Douglas Fairbanks was, in a sense, successor to Walt Whitman. And rather than condemning the culture of celebrity and consumption that early Hollywood helped inspire, the book highlights the creative and democratic features of the silent-film ethos. Just as notable, Cohen champions the concept of the "American myth" in the wake of recent attempts to discredit it. She maintains that American silent film helped consolidate and promote a myth of possibility and self-making that continues to dominate the public imagination and stands behind the best impulses of our contemporary world.

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  • Pdf File: mustang.pdf

Book Short Summary:

“A fascinating narrative with all the grace and power embodied in the wild horses that once populated the Western range . . . [A] magnificently told saga.” —Albuquerque Journal A Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Mustang is the sweeping story of the wild horse in the culture, history, and popular imagination of the American West. It follows the wild horse across time, from its evolutionary origins on this continent to its return with the conquistadors, its bloody battles on the old frontier, its iconic status in Buffalo Bill shows and early westerns, and its plight today as it makes its last stand on the vanishing range. With the Bureau of Land Management proposing to euthanize thousands of horses and ever-encroaching development threatening the land, the mustang’s position has never been more perilous. But as Stillman reveals, the horses are still running wild despite all the obstacles, with spirit unbroken. Hailed by critics nationwide, Mustang is “brisk, smart, thorough, and surprising” (Atlantic Monthly). “Like the best nonfiction writers of our time (Jon Krakauer and Bruce Chatwin come to mind), Stillman’s prose is inviting, her voice authoritative and her vision imaginative and impressively broad.” —Los Angeles Times “Powerful . . . Stillman’s talent as a writer makes this impossible [to stop reading], to the mustang’s benefit.” —Orion “A circumspect writer passionate about her purpose can produce a significant gift for readers. Stillman’s wonderful chronicle of America’s mustangs is an excellent example.” —The Seattle Times

Fairground Attractions

By Deborah Philips
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : A&C Black
  • Book Code : 1849666660
  • Total of Pages : 304
  • Category : Art
  • Members : 196
  • Pdf File: fairground-attractions.pdf

Book Short Summary:

This book is available as open access through the Bloomsbury Open Access programme and is available on www.bloomsburycollections.com. The study investigates the cultural production of the visual iconography of popular pleasure grounds from the eighteenth century pleasure garden to the contemporary theme park. Deborah Philips identifies the literary genres, including fairy tale, gothic horror, Egyptiana and the Western which are common to carnival sites, tracing their historical transition across a range of media to become familiar icons of popular culture.Though the bricolage of narratives and imagery found in the contemporary leisure zone has been read by many as emblematic of postmodern culture, the author argues that the clash of genres and stories is less a consequence of postmodern pastiche than it is the result of a history and popular tradition of conventionalised iconography.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Short Fiction

By Jade Broughton Adams
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Edinburgh University Press
  • Book Code : 1474424694
  • Total of Pages : 232
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Members : 822
  • Pdf File: f-scott-fitzgerald-s-short-fiction.pdf

Book Short Summary:

By exploring Fitzgerald's fascination with the intertwined spheres of dance, music, theatre and film, this book demonstrates how Fitzgerald innovatively imported practices from other popular cultural media into his short stories, showing how jazz age culture served as more than mere period detail in his work.

Show People

By Michael Newton
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Reaktion Books
  • Book Code : 1789141842
  • Total of Pages : 448
  • Category : Performing Arts
  • Members : 486
  • Pdf File: show-people.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Show People offers a comprehensive history of the idea of the film star from Mary Pickford to Andy Serkis, traversing more than one hundred years and drawing on examples from America, Britain, Europe, and Asia. Renowned film writer Michael Newton explores our enduring love affair with fame, glamour, and the cinematic image. Newton builds up an expansive picture of movie stardom through explorations of striking and diverse figures such as Ingrid Bergman and John Wayne, Anna Karina and Sidney Poitier, Maggie Cheung, and Raj Kapoor. He celebrates the great performers of the past, and he looks forward to developments in the future, while also illuminating the inner workings of the movie industry and what moves us in a film and in an actor’s performance. An encyclopedic, illustrated history of film idols ready for their close-ups, Show People is ultimately a book about cinephilia, the love of cinema, and our complex connection to that celebrated and beleaguered figure, the movie star.

Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan

By Paula Marantz Cohen
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : St. Martin's Press
  • Book Code : 9781429903004
  • Total of Pages : 288
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 263
  • Pdf File: much-ado-about-jessie-kaplan.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Paula Marantz Cohen's triumphant first novel, Jane Austen in Boca, was an inspired blend of classic English literature and modern American manners. Her new novel heads north to the seemingly quiet suburban town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for a comedy that even Shakespeare couldn't have imagined. Carla Goodman is worried. Her husband, a gastroenterologist in private practice, is coming home frazzled because medicine isn't what it used to be. Her son's teachers want to put him on Ritalin to stop him from wreaking havoc on the fifth grade. And her cranky twelve-year-old daughter has a bas mitzvah coming up. But it's Carla's sweet, widowed mother, Jessie Kaplan, who really has her baffled. Jessie has suddenly "remembered" that she was Shakespeare's girlfriend---the Dark Lady of the sonnets---in a previous life. Can even the famed Dr. Leonard Samuels, psychiatrist and author of the self-help book How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love My Mother-in-Law, help with problems like these? Witty, engaging, and wickedly observant, Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan is an unpredictable tale of love, loss, and family rites of passage.

With Amusement for All

By LeRoy Ashby
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : University Press of Kentucky
  • Book Code : 081314132X
  • Total of Pages : 712
  • Category : History
  • Members : 341
  • Pdf File: with-amusement-for-all.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Popular culture is a central part of everyday life to many Americans. Personalities such as Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan are more recognizable to many people than are most elected officials. With Amusement for All is the first comprehensive history of two centuries of mass entertainment in the United States, covering everything from the penny press to Playboy, the NBA to NASCAR, big band to hip hop, and other topics including film, comics, television, sports, dance, and music. Paying careful attention to matters of race, gender, class, technology, economics, and politics, LeRoy Ashby emphasizes the complex ways in which popular culture simultaneously reflects and transforms American culture, revealing that the world of entertainment constantly evolves as it tries to meet the demands of a diverse audience. Trends in popular entertainment often reveal the tensions between competing ideologies, appetites, and values in American society. For example, in the late nineteenth century, Americans embraced "self-made men" such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie: the celebrities of the day were circus tycoons P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey, Wild West star "Buffalo Bill" Cody, professional baseball organizer Albert Spalding, and prizefighter John L. Sullivan. At the same time, however, several female performers challenged traditional notions of weak, frail Victorian women. Adah Isaacs Menken astonished crowds by wearing tights that made her appear nude while performing dangerous stunts on horseback, and the shows of the voluptuous burlesque group British Blondes often centered on provocative images of female sexual power and dominance. Ashby describes how history and politics frequently influence mainstream entertainment. When Native Americans, blacks, and other non-whites appeared in the nineteenth-century circuses and Wild West shows, it was often to perpetuate demeaning racial stereotypes -- crowds jeered Sitting Bull at Cody's shows. By the early twentieth century, however, black minstrel acts reveled in racial tensions, reinforcing stereotypes while at the same time satirizing them and mocking racist attitudes before a predominantly white audience. Decades later, Red Foxx and Richard Pryor's profane comedy routines changed American entertainment. The raw ethnic material of Pryor's short-lived television show led to a series of African-American sitcoms in the 1980s that presented common American experiences -- from family life to college life -- with black casts. Mainstream entertainment has often co-opted and sanitized fringe amusements in an ongoing process of redefining the cultural center and its boundaries. Social control and respectability vied with the bold, erotic, sensational, and surprising, as entrepreneurs sought to manipulate the vagaries of the market, control shifting public appetites, and capitalize on campaigns to protect public morals. Rock 'n Roll was one such fringe culture; in the 1950s, Elvis blurred gender norms with his androgynous style and challenged conventions of public decency with his sexually-charged performances. By the end of the 1960s, Bob Dylan introduced the social consciousness of folk music into the rock scene, and The Beatles embraced hippie counter-culture. Don McLean's 1971 anthem "American Pie" served as an epitaph for rock's political core, which had been replaced by the spectacle of hard rock acts such as Kiss and Alice Cooper. While Rock 'n Roll did not lose its ability to shock, in less than three decades it became part of the established order that it had originally sought to challenge. With Amusement for All provides the context to what Americans have done for fun since 1830, showing the reciprocal nature of the relationships between social, political, economic, and cultural forces and the way in which the entertainment world has reflected, refracted, or reinforced the values those forces represent in America.

What Alice Knew

By Paula Marantz Cohen
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Sourcebooks, Inc.
  • Book Code : 1402254733
  • Total of Pages : 352
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 439
  • Pdf File: what-alice-knew.pdf

Book Short Summary:

"A marvelously rich and intelligent read, atmospheric, witty, irreverent, and not least a sharply perceptive portrait of those three extraordinary Jameses." -John Banville, author of The Infinities Under Certain Circumstances, No One Is More Suited to Solving a Crime than a Woman Confined to Her Bed An invalid for most her life, Alice James is quite used to people underestimating her. And she generally doesn't mind. But this time she is not about to let things alone. Yes, her brother Henry may be a famous author, and her other brother William a rising star in the new field of psychology. But when they all find themselves quite unusually involved in the chase for a most vile new murderer-one who goes by the chilling name of Jack the Ripper-Alice is certain of two things: No one could be more suited to gather evidence about the nature of the killer than her brothers. But if anyone is going to correctly examine the evidence and solve the case, it will have to be up to her. Praise for Paula Marantz Cohen "Cohen's wit is sharp, smart, and satirical, and her characterizations are vividly on target." -San Francisco Chronicle

Jane Austen in Scarsdale

By Paula Marantz Cohen
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : St. Martin's Press
  • Book Code : 1429919035
  • Total of Pages : 288
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 858
  • Pdf File: jane-austen-in-scarsdale.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Anne Ehrlich is a dedicated guidance counselor steering her high-school charges through the perils of college admission. Thirteen years ago, when she was graduating from Columbia University, her wealthy family---especially her dear grandmother Winnie---persuaded her to give up the love of her life, Ben Cutler, a penniless boy from Queens College. Anne has never married and hasn't seen Ben since---until his nephew turns up in her high school and starts applying to college. Now Ben is a successful writer, a world traveler, and a soon-to-be married man; and Winnie's health is beginning to fail. All of these changes have Anne beginning to wonder...Can old love be rekindled, or are past mistakes too painful to forget? With all the wit and perceptiveness of Jane Austen's Persuasion, Jane Austen in Scarsdale is a fresh and romantic new comedy from a novelist with "a knack for making modern life reflect literature in the most engaging manner" (Library Journal).

Jane Austen in Boca

By Paula Marantz Cohen
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : St. Martin's Press
  • Book Code : 142990299X
  • Total of Pages : 288
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 587
  • Pdf File: jane-austen-in-boca.pdf

Book Short Summary:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a nice Jewish widower must be in want of a wife. Jane Austen centered her classic novels of manners around "three or four families in a country village." So does Paula Marantz Cohen in her novel, a witty twist on Pride and Prejudice--except this time, the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida. Eligible men, especially ones in possession of a good fortune and country club privileges, are scarce. When goodhearted meddler Carol Newman learns that the wealthy Norman Grafstein has lost his wife, she resolves to marry him off to her lonely mother-in-law, May. The novel charts the progress of May's love life as well as that of her two closest friends: the strong-minded former librarian Flo Kliman and the flamboyant Lila Katz. If there weren't confusion enough, Flo's great-niece Amy, a film student at NYU, suddenly arrives with a camera crew determined to get it all on tape. Will May and Norman eventually find happiness? Will Flo succumb to the charms of the suavely cosmopolitan Mel Shirmer? Will Amy's movie about them win an Academy Award--or at least a prize at the NYU student film competition? Complications and misunderstandings abound in this romantic and perceptive comedy of manners.

Magical Suspension

By James Combs
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • Book Code : 1443881554
  • Total of Pages : 296
  • Category : Performing Arts
  • Members : 660
  • Pdf File: magical-suspension.pdf

Book Short Summary:

This book builds upon the author’s extensive previous work on the movies, adopting a more comprehensive and inquisitive stance for the study of moving pictures as a cultural movement and ludenic innovation. It returns to earlier analysis and commentary on this new invention and recreation quickly termed “the movies”, and develops the initial impression of both moviegoers and observers that the movies appealed because they were fun. As such, the book examines the characteristics that made films so enjoyable, namely their use of magic, presentation of myth, and persistence of mnemonic recollection. The enduring appeal of moving pictures remains consistent, even though the medium has proliferated and diversified, so much so that now a good portion of the human race spends a great deal of time looking at moving pictures. The book is eclectic and exploratory, designed to urge consideration of moving pictures in this larger perspective as something that has changed and perhaps enriched the lives of many people, leaving inquirers the task of calculating the enormous significance and consequences of our motion picture experience for the conduct of our lives. Such an effort is not without merit, since it now seems quite clear that the whole world is watching.