Download American Vaudeville as Ritual by Albert F. Mclean PDF

By Albert F. Mclean

This research gives a wholly new view of the character of contemporary renowned leisure. American vaudeville is the following considered as the rigorously elaborated ritual serving the various and paradoxical delusion of the recent city folks. It demonstrates that the compulsive myth-making college in guy isn't constrained to primitive ethnic teams or to critical artwork, that vaudeville can't be pushed aside as meaningless and inappropriate just because it suits neither the factors of formal criticsm or the wide-spread styles of anthropological study.

Using the tools for feedback constructed by way of Susanne okay. Langer and others, the writer evaluates American vaudeville as a symbolic manifestation of simple values shared by means of the yank humans throughout the interval 1885-1930. via studying vaudeville as folks ritual, the publication finds 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 fable of luck. This remarkable view of the recent mass guy as a folks and of his mythology rooted within the very empirical technology dedicated to dispelling delusion has implications for the intense learn of all different types of mass leisure in the US. The e-book is illustrated with a couple of extraordinary images.

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Extra resources for American Vaudeville as Ritual

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Mencken had found it -vawdvil. 28 But always the intent of the managers was to keep to a middle ground which would raise the ritual high enough to attract the middle classes, yet remain within the limits of acceptance recognized by the uneducated, working class. After a single season in New York, the Vaudeville Club, which catered to the closed circle of fashionable society, ceased its attempt to bring in the best artists from the local theaters for after-hours entertainment. 29 Nowhere else in this country did there seem to be sufficient impetus to start an aristocratic theater, and before long such creatures of the beau monde as Mrs.

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. Under the scrutiny of analysis and formal criticism its bloom would have soon withered, and its viable magic might well have been lost. There were two articulate champions of vaudeville, however, who ventured some serious criticism of its form and content and thus broke some of the trails which this present book will follow.

12 The sixties and seventies even saw the inclusion of quite alien material into the minstrel olio- Irish ballad singers and Jewish comedians, for exampleP Variety of course was the olio in its pure state, and the form had been a part of nineteenth century entertainment long before the appearance of vaudeville. Even the circus had contained the basic idea of a compart- 25 mentalized presentation, and the addition of acrobats, clowns, and menageries in the nineteenth century had furthered this tendency.

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