The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit

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University of California Press, Mar 26, 2012 - Performing Arts - 266 pages
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“In praise of animation and play, The Poetics of Slumberland is what we rarely find—an inspiring book exploring the elastic pleasures of the imagination.”—Alexander Nemerov, author of Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War

The Poetics of Slumberland continues Scott Bukatman's fascination with the vertiginous mapping of modernity from the early twentieth century to the present, here with emphasis on the relationship of the artist/animator to his own potentially autonomous and disobedient creations, which often demand a ‘life of their own.’ Never pedantic, always vibrant, and often downright funny, Bukatman's essays range across artists, art forms, and genres in a work that is as imaginative and seriously playful as its overarching theme.”—Vivian Sobchack, author of Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture

“Bodies which expand and stretch through animation and special effects, within worlds subjected to topsy-turvy perspectives and kaleidoscopic optics. . . . Bukatman synthesizes a view of an American popular culture of comics, musical numbers, science fiction fantasies, Jerry Lewis’s convulsions, and superhero transcendence with considerations of the sublime, abstract expressionism, the phenomenology of the body, and avant-garde cinema—and makes us believe it! Rarely has any critic caught the pulse of American dreams so vividly and with equal parts exhilaration and vertigo."—Tom Gunning, author of D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph


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About the author (2012)

Scott Bukatman is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of many books, including Terminal Identity and, most recently, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the Twentieth Century.

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