Puppets and "popular" Culture
Scott Cutler Shershow explores the historical relationship between puppet theater and the human stage from the Renaissance to the present. Focusing on the ways in which various modes of bourgeois discourse have used the puppet as metaphor, paradigm of theatrical performance, and symbol of subordination, he maintains that "elite" and "popular" forms of culture are inextricably linked.
Shershow examines an astonishing range of texts and performers - from Ben Jonson to Jim Henson, from Plato to Punch and Judy, from Enlightenment essays to works by the modernist avant-garde. He shows that the many forms of puppet theater which have flourished on the margins of social life in the carnival, fairground, and marketplace - have been both disparaged and celebrated by authors attempting to demonstrate their own legitimate or literary status. Shershow thus suggests that so-called high and low practices thoroughly interpenetrate one another, forcing us to question whether rival social groups ever truly have their own separate "cultures."
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actor aesthetic Alfred Jarry audience authorship Bartholomew Faire Bauhaus Ben Jonson body bourgeois Bunraku Cambridge carnival carnivalesque celebrated character Charke Charke's Charlotte Charke cited comic contemporary conventional cultural appropriation discourse distinction doll drama early modern eighteenth century elite embodies English Puppet Theatre entertainment envisions essay evokes example f1gure Fielding's figure futurist given parenthetically Henry Fielding hierarchy of representation History histrionic human idol inanimate Jack Jarry Jim Henson John Jonson kind later literal literary London magic manifest marionette Martin Powell master metaphor modes motion observed once Oxford parody passage performing object Pinocchio Plato play players playwrights political popular culture practice Punch and Judy puppet show puppet theater puppetlike puppetry refers Renaissance rhetorical satiric scene seems semiotic sense Sesame Street Shakespeare similarly social Speaight stage subordination suggest theatrical theological theater theoretical Thomas Dekker tion trans University Press vision voice word writes York
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Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936
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