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Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life
Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life
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Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life

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Author: Gross, Kenneth

Brand: University of Chicago Press

Edition: Illustrated

Binding: Hardcover

Format: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 224

Release Date: 07-10-2011

Details: Product Description The puppet can entertain or terrify, evoke the innocence of childhood, or become a magical entity, able to negotiate with ghosts and gods. Puppets are often creepy things, inanimate while also full of spirit, alive with gesture and voice. In this haunting and beautiful book, Kenneth Gross takes us on a meditative journey through the world of puppet theater, exploring the mysterious fascination of these unsettling objects. Engaging particular aspects of the puppet, from its blunt grotesquerie to its talent for metamorphosis, Gross teases out their meanings, showing us the puppet in the guise of angel, seducer, demon, and destroyer. On a global tour of puppets onstage, he takes us to the raucous Punch and Judy show, the sacred shadow theater of Bali, and experimental theaters in the United States and Europe where puppets enact everything from Shakespearean tragedy to surrealist fables of discovery and loss. At the same time, he explores the puppet in poetry and fiction-including Collodi's cruel, wooden Pinocchio; puppetlike characters in Dickens and Kafka; Rilke's innocent puppet-angels; and the dark puppeteering of Philip Roth's Micky Sabbath - as well as in the work of artists such as Joseph Cornell and Paul Klee. A lovely, expressive book about re-seeing what we know, or what we think we know, "Puppet" evokes the startling power of puppets as mirrors of the uncanny in art and life. Review "[Gross] gets to the heart and soul of what the puppet is, referencing a broad range of sources, from folk puppet traditions to high art, literature and opera. It is an impressively detailed book, illuminating aspects of puppetry such as the problem of the puppet and voice. . . . As a puppeteer I found the book inspiring and richly detailed. . . . A book for puppeteers, intellectuals and anyone who is fascinated by puppets and wants to explore this fascination."-- "Puppeteers UK" "After three readings, my enthusiasm must take the form of a warning, even of a prohibition: do not read Kenneth Gross's energetic, expert, and exhaustive essay as if it were merely--merely!--an ecstatic encomium; on the other hand (the puppeteer's constant cry), do not treat this learned and lyrical study as if it were no more than a reference book, though it has all the beneficent earmarks of that dread convenience. Read it as you always meant to read the Bible: by chapters, by pages, persistently by sentences, readily pausing to concur, to contend, to wonder. . . . You will find the author has done that much for you, thereby achieving--by a labor of years as well as of love--the Sacred Book of an entire human undertaking, one which has ensorcelled us for all the recorded ages of what the author calls uncanny life."--Richard Howard, author of Without Saying "Kenneth Gross explains why puppets are so powerful and why puppetry is such a vital part of our culture both past and present. His book is the site of a constant flow of sharp observations and insights. It is part of the exciting exchange of ideas about objects in performance that is influencing the practitioners of contemporary theater in general and puppeteers in particular."--Basil Jones, Executive Producer, Handspring Puppet Company "This is the sort of book you can return to and find inspiration and food for thought, as well as information about an uncanny subject."-- "PopMatters.com" "You have in your hands a uniquely beautiful book, a book of uncommon brilliance and lucidity. It is as wondrous as the theaters of marvels it describes; its leaps and mutabilities provide a thrilling adventure in imaginative thinking. 'How are we devoured by the things we make?' it asks. 'And when might that devouring save us?' My copy burns brightly on my favorite shelf, beside The Poetics of Space, Eccentric Spaces, and In Praise of Shadows. . . a treasure!"--Rikki Ducornet, author of Netsuke and The Fan-Maker's Inquisition "In Puppet Kenneth Gross reflects the traditional Western puzzle

Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches

Languages: English