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Download American Vaudeville as Ritual by Albert F. Mclean PDF

By Albert F. Mclean

ISBN-10: 0813134293

ISBN-13: 9780813134291

This learn gives a wholly new view of the character of recent well known leisure. American vaudeville is the following considered as the rigorously elaborated ritual serving the several and paradoxical delusion of the hot city people. It demonstrates that the compulsive myth-making school in guy isn't constrained to primitive ethnic teams or to severe paintings, that vaudeville can't be brushed off as meaningless and inappropriate just because it suits neither the factors of formal criticsm or the regular styles of anthropological study.

Using the equipment for feedback constructed through Susanne okay. Langer and others, the writer evaluates American vaudeville as a symbolic manifestation of uncomplicated values shared by means of the yankee humans through the interval 1885-1930. by means of interpreting vaudeville as people ritual, the ebook unearths the subconscious symbolism easy to vaudeville-in its humor, magic, animal acts, song, and playlets, and likewise within the performers and the managers―which gave shape to the dominant American fantasy of luck. This awesome view of the recent mass guy as a folks and of his mythology rooted within the very empirical technological know-how dedicated to dispelling fantasy has implications for the intense examine of all different types of mass leisure in the United States. The publication is illustrated with a couple of remarkable photos.

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Extra resources for American Vaudeville as Ritual

Example text

It grew from no one central tradition of either the theater or itinerant entertainment, but rather combined the elements from a number of established forms to appeal to a new and different sensibility. In some ways, it is true, the public taste did cling to its rural and frontier myths, and parts of the circus, minstrel and variety traditions persevered. But urban conditions had brought about the desire for new attitudes, new rhythms and new sensations. Whereas the earlier forms had concentrated on specific aspects of American life (the Negro, bawdiness, men and animals, the exotic) of special appeal to certain groups or classes, vaudeville widened the scope of the popular arts.

While there seems to be little consensus among folklorists exactly what folklore is, there is considerable agreement that mass entertainment certainly does not belong in the list of approved materials for their research and study. 12 Yet the great foundation of all culturewhether described as the folk or the masses-goes on about its symbolizing ways indifferent to the distinctions and the objections raised by researchers and scholars. Certainly vaudeville solicited no learned apologists in its own day and, indeed, drew part of its strength from its very inaccessibility.

1 The mass audience was fundamentally altered during the decades after 1890 by the waves of immigration which brought ever-increasing numbers of the peasants and artisans of eastern and southern Europe into American ports. Whereas the earlier immigrants had been primarily from the British Isles, Germany, Scandanavia, Switzerland, and Holland, the fifteen million persons who arrived in the United States in the second of the great waves of immigration were largely from Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia, Poland, Greece, Rumania, and Turkey.

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American Vaudeville as Ritual by Albert F. Mclean


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