Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life

Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life

by KennethGross (Author)


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.



20+ in stock

More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Published: 15 Oct 2011

ISBN 10: 0226309584
ISBN 13: 9780226309583

Media Reviews
You have in your hands a uniquely beautiful book, a book of uncommon brilliance and lucidity. 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 Gazelle and The Fan-Maker's Inquisition
Author Bio
Kenneth Gross teaches English at the University of Rochester and is the author, most recently, of Shylock Is Shakespeare, also published by the University of Chicago Press.