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Paperback Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture Book

ISBN: 0807843164

ISBN13: 9780807843161

Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture

(Part of the Cultural Studies of the United States Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Burlesque was a cultural threat, Allen argues, because it inverted the "normal" world of middle-class social relations and transgressed norms of "proper" feminine behavior and appearance. Initially playing to respectable middle-class audiences, burlesque was quickly relegated to the shadow-world of working-class male leisure. In this process the burlesque performer "lost" her voice, as burlesque increasingly revolved around the display of her body.Locating...

Customer Reviews

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Enchanting and Thought Provoking

This enchanting work brings the burlesque back to life! When Lydia Thompson hit New York theaters in 1868, she and her troupe were an immediate success. But she also initiated a vituperative debate over the appropriate limits for the female performer. Robert Allen vividly describes how Americans increasingly put aside their religious reservations and took to the theater by the mid-19th century. He first examines the physical and social arrangement of space within the theater auditorium. He then takes his reader on a journey through the male-impersonating, revealingly attired, slang-spouting, minstrel-dancing burlesque women to their descendants - the cooch dancers and modern day striptease. A unique book for entertainment buffs and feminist thinkers alike. To read actual burlesque plays see "The Best Burlesque Sketches".
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