By Vicki K. Janik
Jesters and fools have existed as vital and constant figures in approximately all cultures. occasionally often called clowns, they're typological characters who've traditional roles within the arts, frequently utilizing nonsense to subvert latest order. yet fools also are part of social and non secular heritage, they usually often play key roles within the rituals that aid and form a society's procedure of ideals. This reference publication comprises alphabetically prepared entries for roughly 60 fools and jesters from quite a lot of cultures. integrated are entries for performers from American pop culture, resembling Woody Allen, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, and the Marx Brothers; literary characters, akin to Shakespeare's Falstaff, Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, and Singer's Gimpel; and cultural and mythological figures, similar to India's Birbal, the yank circus clown, the local American Coyote, Taishu Engeki of Japan, Hephaestus, Loki the Norse idiot, schlimiels and schlimazels, and the drag queen.The entries, written via specialist members, are serious in addition to informative. every one starts with a biographical, creative, spiritual, or ancient heritage part, which areas the topic inside of a bigger cultural and ancient context. an outline and research persist with. This part may possibly contain a dialogue of the fool's visual appeal, gender position, moral and ethical roles, social functionality, and courting to such issues as nature, time, and mortality. The access then discusses the serious reception of the topic and concludes with an in depth bibliography of normal works.
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Additional info for Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
The Ridiculous may be defined as a mistake or deformity not productive of pain or harm to others; the mask, for instance, that excites laughter, is something ugly and distorted without causing pain" (102). Second, we must agree that in order for evil to be effective, it must have, as Hamlet notes, a pleasing shape, not a ridiculous one. 25-26). Based on these two assumptions, then, we may conclude that the fool cannot possess the power to do harm. He is identifiably ridiculous; therefore, he cannot be effectively evil.
Boskin, Joseph. Sambo: The Rise and Demise of an American Jester. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1982. Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1976. Erasmus, Desiderius. The Praise of Folly. 1509. Trans. John Wilson. 1668. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1960. Gras, Henk. " In Reclamations of Shakespeare, ed. A. J. Hoenselaars. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1994.
Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972), Sleeper (1973), and Love and Death (1975) all belong to the movie-spoof genre, a popular conception in the early 1970s that poked affectionate fun at pre-Easy Rider movies. If the old adage that a joke is an epitaph on an emotion rings true, then these films were epitaphs on collective emotions for the Old Hollywood's gloriously garish daydreams. When this genre began to falter, Allen moved on. Though his films would always deal with old movies, the Woody Allen film evolved into a happy conciliation of opposites, the cinema of ideas combined with the clown tradition, visually, unmistakable Allen.