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Laboring to Play: Home Entertainment and the…

Laboring to Play: Home Entertainment and the Spectacle of Middle-Class…

by Melanie Dawson

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0817314490, Hardcover)

A compelling analysis of how "middling" Americans entertained themselves and how these entertainments changed over time.

"The purposes ofLaboring to Playare several: to give new and sustained attention to the parlor as an important site of social and cultural formation; to consider the ways in which home entertainment texts and practices helped shape an emerging middle-class identity in the United States; to chart the evolution of such texts and practices and thus also their changing effects on class formation; to extend existing scholarship on the middle class; to reexamine the inter-relationship of work and play in American culture; and to explore the roles of pleasure and game-playing in American identity. Highly effective are the detailed readings of the 'entertainment chronotope' in a number of important American literary texts, including Alcott'sLittle Women,Wharton'sThe House of Mirth,Lewis'sMain Street,Gilman'sHerland,and Cather'sMy Ántonia."--William Gleason, author ofThe Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840-1940.

"A learned and engaging analysis based on an impressive body of research. . . . Dawson's focus on entertainment in the home has the benefit of providing us with a close and careful look at the intersections between ideologies of domesticity, class, and leisure."--Cynthia J. Davis, author ofBodily and Narrative Forms: The Influence of Medicine in American Literature, 1845-1915

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:30 -0400)

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