Turn-of-the-century cabaret : Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Cracow, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Zurich /
Harold B. Segel.
New York : Columbia University Press, 1987.
xxxi, 418 p. : ill., ports.
More Details
New York : Columbia University Press, 1987.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [393]-405.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-02:
Segel (Slavic literatures, Columbia) has written extensively on Russian and Polish drama. His interest in cabaret, which began as early as 1960, has culminated in a serviceable, scholarly, but not lively detailed study that complements Lisa Appignanesi's more inclusive but superficial The Cabaret (CH, Feb '77). Segel concentrates on the genesis of most of the more influential cabarets (enumerated in the title) at the turn of the century, omitting a number of other likely candidates and giving only passing attention to post-WW I cabarets. This study is strong in its coverage of the basic historical facts (becoming almost encyclopedic in its litany of names) and its analysis of the literary traditions associated with the cabaret (especially as an aspect of the growing avant-garde). Some translations are too literal and sometimes imprecise (especially French and German passages). It is weakest in its discussion of the social and economic context of the cabaret and in providing a vivid sense of performance (although a few shadow puppet performances are recreated adequately). A number of important sources were not consulted, most notably Peter Jelavich's Munich and Theatrical Modernism (CH, Feb '86) and Spencer Golub's Evreinov: The Theatre of Paradox and Transformation (1984). Nonetheless, this is the best study of cabaret in English to date and is recommended for upper-division students.-D.B. Wilmeth, Brown University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1987-09-18:
The first French cabaret, the Chat Noir (Black Cat), opened in Paris in 1881 as an informal group of poets, painters, musicians and theater people. It published its own magazine and showcased singer Aristide Bruant, who immortalized common folk and petty criminals. The cabaret craze soon swept Europe. At the Stray Dog cafe in St. Petersburg, Mayakovsky, Blok and Akhmatova gathered. Barcelona's cabarets, where Picasso exhibited his art, were the vortex of a Catalonian cultural renaissance. Numbing social conservatism was the target of satirical one-acters performed in the clubs of Berlin, Munich and Cracow. In Zurich, Cabaret Voltaire gave birth to the Dada movement in 1916-17. This riveting, richly detailed chronicle by a Columbia professor shows that the cabaret was a breeding ground of modernism, a crucible in which ``high'' and ``low'' art forms were fused. An invaluable study of a neglected phenomenon. (October 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, September 1987
Choice, February 1988
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