Puppetry: A World History

Puppetry: A World History / by Eileen Blumenthal

PN 1972 .B57 2005

“Author Eileen Blumenthal offers a fascinating overview of puppetry, examining the unique nature and abilities of puppets and the countless roles they have played in societies across the globe. [Puppets] can be as minimal and elegant as two-inch spheres on Russian puppet master Sergei Obraztsov’s index fingers performing a love scene, or as outrageous as the talking penis in Henri Xhonneux’s 1990 film Marquis. They can be as controversial (and hilarious) as a latex version of Margaret Thatcher wielding a meat cleaver to debrain her opponents, or as mysterious as the leather shadow puppets of Southeast Asia shimmering in and out of existence between oil lamp and screen.  On the lighter side, there’s the never-ending antics of Kermit the Frog and the romantically challenged Miss Piggy and the merry maniac Mr. Punch, versions of which appear in almost every culture. Readers also will find here the masks and figurines used by shamans as escorts between the physical and spiritual worlds, as well as those creations made purely for the delight of audiences, such as the helium-filled characters of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Alexander Calder’s miniature circus. Lavishly illustrated with 350 images.”-book jacket.

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