Catalogue


American "unculture" in French drama : Homo Americanus and the post-1960 French resistance /
Les Essif, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
description
xiii, 341 p.
ISBN
1137299029 (hardcover), 9781137299024 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
isbn
1137299029 (hardcover)
9781137299024 (hardcover)
contents note
Introduction: part 1. Homo Americanus as Global and Cultural Other -- Introduciton : part 2. The Hyper(un)reality of the American Society of Spectacle -- The Hyperreality of the Western Frontier -- Homo Americanus War and Violence -- The Totalitarian Non-Tragedy of Americano-Global Business -- Conclusion: Blob, Screen, and Corn: Final Figures of the Homo Americanus Hyperreal.
catalogue key
8899955
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 319-326) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Les Essif is the author of Empty Figure on an Empty Stage, The French and numerous essays on French theatre and theories of drama and performance. He is currently Professor of French Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"No major dramatist confronted with American culture - a genre in itself and a must for French artists and playwrights-has escaped Essif's precise but global, gentle but witty, generous but severe radar." - Patrice Pavis (University of Kent, UK) in his Foreword to American 'Unculture' in French Drama "The author presents clearly and vividly the new perspectives on US people, places and events, which are viewed and scrutinized from afar, namely in French theatre. Reciprocally, he describes what light these theatrical representations shed on France itself, and its own attraction and anxiety towards US image culture, market economy, war, and religious evangelism. This is a highly impressive overview, that would usefully serve not only theatre specialists, but also any students or scholars in the Humanities seeking to compare and contrast contemporary US and French society and culture." - Clare Finburgh, University of Essex, UK
"No major dramatist confronted with American culture - a genre in itself and a must for French artists and playwrightshas escaped Essif's precise but global, gentle but witty, generous but severe radar." - Patrice Pavis (University of Kent, UK) in his Foreword to American 'Unculture' in French Drama "The author presents clearly and vividly the new perspectives on US people, places and events, which are viewed and scrutinized from afar, namely in French theatre. Reciprocally, he describes what light these theatrical representations shed on France itself, and its own attraction and anxiety towards US image culture, market economy, war, and religious evangelism. This is a highly impressive overview, that would usefully serve not only theatre specialists, but also any students or scholars in the Humanities seeking to compare and contrast contemporary US and French society and culture." - Clare Finburgh, University of Essex, UK
"No major dramatist confronted with American culture - a genre in itself and a must for French artists and playwrightshas escaped Essif's precise but global, gentle but witty, generous but severe radar." - Patrice Pavis (University of Kent, UK) in his Foreword toAmerican 'Unculture' in French Drama "The author presents clearly and vividly the new perspectives on US people, places and events, which are viewed and scrutinized from afar, namely in French theatre. Reciprocally, he describes what light these theatrical representations shed on France itself, and its own attraction and anxiety towards US image culture, market economy, war, and religious evangelism. This is a highly impressive overview, that would usefully serve not only theatre specialists, but also any students or scholars in the Humanities seeking to compare and contrast contemporary US and French society and culture." - Clare Finburgh, University of Essex, UK
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Representation of American characters and spaces in French plays have increased dramatically in number, nature and nuance since the 1960s, and this book explores the role that 'America' plays in the French imagination, as it translates on the French stage. The book begins with an introduction that brings together a rich variety of Western cultural scholarship, including Baudrillard's concepts of American 'unculture' and 'hyperreality,' Debray's 'homo americanus,' and Eagleton's distinction between a dialectical culture and an undialectical one. The following four chapters are organized according to the dominant theme of each of the plays: America as a hyperreal western frontier; homo americanus and war and violence; Americano-global business; and America as spectacle and counter-communal. The book examines how a range of prominent post-1960 French playwrights (such as Gatti, Benedetto, Cixous and Vinaver) represent an American 'unculture' - a mass US culture of capitalist consumerism, image, spectacle and international imperialism - and offers a valuable comparative study of American and French contemporary society and culture.
Long Description
Representation of American characters and spaces in French plays have increased dramatically in number, nature and nuance since the 1960s, and this books explores the role that 'America' plays in the French imagination, as it translates on the French stage. The book begins with an introduction that brings together a rich variety of Western cultural scholarship, including Baudrillard's concepts of American 'unculture' and 'hyperreality,' Debray's 'homo americanus,' and Eagleton's distinction between a dialectical culture and an undialectical one. The following four chapters are organized according to the dominant theme of each of the plays: America as a hyperreal western frontier; homo americanus and war and violence; Americano-global business; and America as spectacle and counter-communal. The books examines how a range of prominent post-1960 French playrights (such as Gatti, Benedetto, Cixous and Vinaver) represent an American 'unculture' - a mass US culture of capitalist consumerism, image, spectacle and international imperialism - and offers a valuable comparative study of American and French contemporary society and culture.
Main Description
Representation of American characters and spaces in French plays have increased dramatically in number, nature and nuance since the 1960s, and this book explores the role that America plays in the French imagination, as it translates on the French stage. The book begins with an introduction that brings together a rich variety of Western cultural scholarship, including Baudrillards concepts of American unculture and hyperreality, Debrays homo americanus, and Eagletons distinction between a dialectical culture and an undialectical one. The following four chapters are organized according to the dominant theme of each of the plays: America as a hyperreal western frontier; homo americanus and war and violence; Americano-global business; and America as spectacle and counter-communal. The book examines how a range of prominent post-1960 French playwrights (such as Gatti, Benedetto, Cixous and Vinaver) represent an American unculture - a mass US culture of capitalist consumerism, image, spectacle and international imperialism - and offers a valuable comparative study of American and French contemporary society and culture.
Main Description
Representation of American characters and spaces in French plays have increased dramatically in number, nature and nuance since the 1960s, and this book explores the role that 'America' plays in the French imagination, as it translates on the French stage. The book begins with an introduction that brings together a rich variety of Western cultural scholarship, including Baudrillard's concepts of American 'unculture' and 'hyperreality,' Debray's 'homo americanus,' and Eagleton's distinctionbetween a dialectical culture and an undialectical one. The following four chapters are organized according to the dominant theme of each of the plays: America as a hyperreal western frontier; homo americanus and war and violence; Americano-global business; and America as spectacle and counter-communal. The book examines how a range of prominent post-1960 French playwrights (such as Gatti, Benedetto, Cixous and Vinaver) represent an American 'unculture' - a mass US culture of capitalist consumerism, image, spectacle and international imperialism - and offers a valuable comparative study of American and French contemporary society and culture.
Main Description
Representation of American characters and spaces in French plays have increased dramatically in number, nature and nuance since the 1960s, and this books explores the role that 'America' plays in the French imagination, as it translates on the French stage. The book begins with an introduction that brings together a rich variety of Western cultural scholarship, including Baudrillard's concepts of American 'unculture' and 'hyperreality,' Debray's 'homo americanus,' and Eagleton's distinctionbetween a dialectical culture and an undialectical one. The following four chapters are organized according to the dominant theme of each of the plays: America as a hyperreal western frontier; homo americanus and war and violence; Americano-global business; and America as spectacle and counter-communal. The books examines how a range of prominent post-1960 French playrights (such as Gatti, Benedetto, Cixous and Vinaver) represent an American 'unculture' - a mass US culture of capitalist consumerism, image, spectacle and international imperialism - and offers a valuable comparative study of American and French contemporary society and culture.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. x
A Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introduction: Part 1p. 1
Homo americanus as global and cultural otherp. 5
The Franco-European view of American anti-intellectualismp. 10
Dialectical 'culture as critique' versus American 'unculture'p. 13
The undialectical American doctrine of self-interestp. 18
Name That Culture! (or: What country am I in?)p. 20
Introduction: Part 2p. 31
The hyper(un)reality of the American society of spectaclep. 31
You're either with the ideological, dialectical, and the metaphysical or you're with the enemyp. 38
The hyperreality of ultra-capitalismp. 41
The meaningful meaninglessness of mass unculturedp. 44
Hypertheatrical presentations of homo americanus unculturedp. 49
Introduction to the playsp. 51
The Hyperreality of the Western Frontierp. 63
Obaldia's 1965 Wind in the Branches of Sassafras (Du vent dans les branches de sassafras): the godliness of violence and capitalist consumptionp. 70
Jean-Noël Fenwick's 1992 Calamity fane ('Calamity Joan'?): the melodrama of unculture lightp. 74
Catherine Anne's 2003 Joy of the Wind (Bonheur du vent): the stymied poetics of the uncultured western character and spacep. 85
André Benedetto's 1975 Geronimo (Géronimo): the effects of unculture on everymanp. 93
Fernando Arrabal's 1974 On the Tightrope or Ballad of the Phantom Train (Sur le fil ou La Ballade du train fantôme): unculture as 'fascism light'p. 100
The Grand Magic Circus's 1974 From Moses to Mao: 5000 Years of Adventures and Love (De Moïse à Mao: 5.000 ans d'aventures et d'amour): the 'soft subversion' version of American unculturedp. 108
Claude Duparfait's 1998 Oklahoma Romance: A Job Offer (Idylle à Oklahoma: Une offre d'emploi): America as Kafkaesque utopian-dystopian theatrical spacep. 113
Homo Americanus War and Violencep. 121
Armand Gatti's 1967 V for Vietnam (V comme Vietnam) and Michel Vinaver's 11 September 2001 (11 Septembre 2001): a voyage into the hyperreal epicenter of Americano-global war and conflictp. 126
Lost in space: American characters as creatures of a culture/dramaturgy of abstraction in Bernard-Marie Koltès's 1977 Sallingerp. 137
André Bénédetto's 1968 Napalm: the hypertheatrical reality of imperial warp. 150
Benedetto's 1972 Funeral Song for an American Soldier (Chant funèbrepour un soldat américain): the homo americanus unculture of fearp. 161
Hélène Cixous's 1985 The Terrible but Unfinished Story of Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia (L'Histoire terrible mais inachevée de Norodom Sihanouk roi du Cambodge): American unculture in the light of Cambodian cosmopolitan humanismp. 164
Armand Gatti's 1966 Public Song Before Two Electric Chairs (Chant public devant deux chaises électriques): the totalitarian performance of US unculture on a global stagep. 172
Pierre Halet's 1968 Little Boy: the cataclysmic psychological and uncultural fallout of the bombp. 182
Gérard Gelas's 2002 Guantanamour: a GI's human 'race' against uncultural fearp. 191
Jean Audureau's 1977 In Memphis There's a Prodigiously Powerful Man (A Memphis il y a un homme d'une force prodigieuse): the unculture of benevolently demonic American gangstersp. 196
The Totalitarian Non-Tragedy of Americano-Global Businessp. 206
Americano-global business in post-1960 French dramap. 210
Michel Vinaver: the dialectical Americano-global businessman-dramatistp. 214
Overboard (Par-dessus bord; 1970): toilet paper and human relations in the abstractp. 220
It Bowls You Over (A la renverse; 1980): capitalism advances, society retreats, and the firm becomes the total space of lifep. 236
High Places (L'Ordinaire; 1983): the survival of the 'crash' at the pinnacle of Americano-global businessp. 245
King (1998): one vowel, one magnate, one system, two visionsp. 255
The (Supra-)Global Spectacle of American (Non-)Communityp. 266
Michel Deutsch's Sunday (Dimanche; 1974): the dynamic-dialectical force of labor versus the fatal solitude of spectaclep. 272
Joël Jouanneau's The Crazies of Knoxville (Les Dingues de Knoxville; 1995): clowns without borders, home, or referencep. 277
Lars von Trier's Theatrical Film Dogville (2003): 'It Fakes a Village'p. 284
Conclusionp. 294
Blob, screen, and corn: final figures of the homo americanus hyperrealp. 294
Notesp. 305
Works Citedp. 319
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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