Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth

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Oxford University Press, 2001 M05 3 - 234 páginas
Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth connects the rise of film and the rise of America as a cultural center and twentieth-century world power. Silent film, Paula Cohen reveals, allowed America to sever its literary and linguistic ties to Europe and answer the call by nineteenth-century writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman for an original form of expression compatible with American strengths and weaknesses. When film finally began to talk in 1927, the medium had already done its work. It had helped translate representation into a dynamic visual form and had "Americanized" the world. Cohen explores the way film emerged as an American medium through its synthesis of three basic elements: the body, the landscape, and the face. Nineteenth-century American culture had already charged these elements with meaning--the body through vaudeville and burlesque, landscape through landscape painting and moving panoramas, and the face through portrait photography. Integrating these popular forms, silent film also developed genres that showcased each of its basic elements: the body in comedy, the landscape in the western, and the face in melodrama. At the same time, it helped produce a new idea of character, embodied in the American movie star. Cohen's book offers a fascinating new perspective on American cultural history. It shows how nineteenth-century literature can be said to anticipate twentieth-century film--how Douglas Fairbanks was, in a sense, successor to Walt Whitman. And rather than condemning the culture of celebrity and consumption that early Hollywood helped inspire, the book highlights the creative and democratic features of the silent-film ethos. Just as notable, Cohen champions the concept of the "American myth" in the wake of recent attempts to discredit it. She maintains that American silent film helped consolidate and promote a myth of possibility and self-making that continues to dominate the public imagination and stands behind the best impulses of our contemporary world.
 

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Silent film & the triumph of the American myth

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Veteran cultural critic Cohen (Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism) explores the advent of the silent film, asserting that the early 20th-century medium represented what American society at ... Leer comentario completo

Silent film & the triumph of the American myth

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Veteran cultural critic Cohen (Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism) explores the advent of the silent film, asserting that the early 20th-century medium represented what American society at ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

2
23
5
131
Notes
183
Bibliography
201
Contents
xiv
FRANCOIS DUG DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD Portrait of Himself
10
RUSSELL BAKER My Animal Problem 39
39
E B WHITE Once More to the Lake 45
45
GUY DAVENPORT Yes Trees Is Popular with the Rotarians Yes Its
525
The Way to the Poem
531
MAYNARD MACK The World of Hamlet
544
HELEN BEVINGTON A Nun a Girl and Gerard Manley Hopkins
566
G K CHESTERTON The Dickensian
585
A CLOSER LOOK
593
PIERRE CHAMPION Young Joan
601
THORSTEIN VEBLEN The Hedonistic Theory of Economics
610

THE CHARACTER
55
v s NAIPAUL The Congo 102
102
NANCY MITFORD Tourists
109
WILLIAM STYRON Potters Field 120
120
WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE
501
The Abandoned Years
507
x F KENNEDY Who Killed King Kong?
518
VIRCINU WOOLF From A Sketch of the Past
619
ENDORA WELTY From One Writers Beginnings
625
MARK VAN DOREN Hester Prynne
632
ERNEST HEMINGWAY From In Our Time
641
GLOSSARY
653
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Acerca del autor (2001)

Paula Marantz Cohen is Professor of Humanities and Director of the Literature Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her books include Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism and The Daughter's Dilemma: Family Process and the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Novel.

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