The Godfather and American Culture: How the Corleones Became "Our Gang"
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather is an American pop phenomenon whose driving force is reflected not only in book sales and cable television movie marathons but also in such related works as the hit television series The Sopranos. In The Godfather and American Culture, Chris Messenger offers an important and comprehensive study of this classic work of popular fiction and its hold on the American imagination. As Messenger shows, the Corleones have indeed become “our gang,” and we see our family business in America reflected in them. Examining The Godfather and its many incarnations within a variety of texts and contexts, Messenger also addresses Puzo’s inconsistent affiliation with his Italian heritage, his denial of the multiethnic literary subject, and his decades-long struggle for respect as a writer in contemporary America. The study ultimately offers a way of looking at the much-maligned genre of popular or bestselling fiction itself. By placing both the novel and films within a number of revealing critical situations, Messenger addresses the continuing problem of how we talk about elite and popular fiction in America—and what we mean when we take sides.
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Bakhtin and Puzo Authority as the Family Business
The Godfather and the Ethnic Ensemble
Barthes and Puzo The Authority of the Signifier
The Godfather and Melodrama Authorizing the Corleones as American Heroes
The Corleones as Our Gang The Godfather Interrogated by Doctorows Ragtime
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Godfather and American Culture, The: How the Corleones Became "Our Gang"
Limited preview - 2012
aesthetic asks audience Bakhtin Barthes become bella figura Bonasera Bourdieu calls career Carmela chapter characters Chase Christopher Coppola Corleone family Corleone's critical culture death destiny dialogue discourse Doctorow Don Corleone Don's dreams elite fiction epic ethnic family business father feeling finally Fools Fools Die Fortunate Pilgrim Genco genre Godfather films Godfather II Godfather's Hagen hero Hollywood Hume identity immigrant irony Italian American Jack Woltz Johnny Fontane language literary lives Livia Lucia Santa Mafia Mailer male Melfi melodrama Merlyn Michael Corleone mob narrative moral mother movie murder myth mythical never Nino novel novelist omerta Osano popular fiction postmodern Puzo Puzo's Ragtime reader reading rhetoric role says scene sentimental Sicilian Sicily signifier social society Sonny Sonny Corleone speech taste television tells tion Tom Hagen Tony Soprano Tony's viewers violence Vito Corleone voice Woltz women writing
Page 11 - But on the truest candor, it has an inhibitory effect. Most serious matters are closed to the hardboiled. They are unpracticed in introspection, and therefore badly equipped to deal with opponents whom they cannot shoot like big game or outdo in daring. If you have difficulties, grapple with them silently, goes one of their commandments.