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Clowns, Fools and Picaros: Popular Forms in Theatre, Fiction and Film

by David Robb

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By its very nature the clown, as represented in art, is an interdisciplinary phenomenon. In whichever artform it appears - fiction, drama, film, photography or fine art - it carries the symbolic association of its usage in popular culture, be it ritual festivities, street theatre or circus. The clown, like its extended family of fools, jesters, picaros and tricksters, has a variety of functions all focussed around its status and image of being "other." Frequently a marginalized figure, it provides the foil for the shortcomings of dominant discourse or the absurdities of human behaviour.Clowns, Fools and Picarosrepresents the latest research on the clown, bringing together for the first time studies from four continents: Europe, America, Africa and Asia. It attempts to ascertain commonalities, overlaps and differences between artistic expressions of the "clownesque" from these various continents and genres, and above all, to examine the role of the clown in our cultures today.This volume is of interest for scholars of political and comic drama, film and visual art as well as scholars of comparative literature and anthropology.… (more)

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By its very nature the clown, as represented in art, is an interdisciplinary phenomenon. In whichever artform it appears - fiction, drama, film, photography or fine art - it carries the symbolic association of its usage in popular culture, be it ritual festivities, street theatre or circus. The clown, like its extended family of fools, jesters, picaros and tricksters, has a variety of functions all focussed around its status and image of being "other." Frequently a marginalized figure, it provides the foil for the shortcomings of dominant discourse or the absurdities of human behaviour.Clowns, Fools and Picarosrepresents the latest research on the clown, bringing together for the first time studies from four continents: Europe, America, Africa and Asia. It attempts to ascertain commonalities, overlaps and differences between artistic expressions of the "clownesque" from these various continents and genres, and above all, to examine the role of the clown in our cultures today.This volume is of interest for scholars of political and comic drama, film and visual art as well as scholars of comparative literature and anthropology.

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