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Pleasing Everyone By Jeffrey Knapp (Eggers Professor of English, Eggers Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley)

Summary

Shakespeare's plays were immensely popular in their own day - so why do we refuse to think of them as mass entertainment? In Pleasing Everyone, Jeffrey Knapp opens our eyes to the uncanny resemblance between Renaissance drama and the incontrovertibly mass medium of Golden-Age Hollywood cinema.

Pleasing Everyone Summary

Pleasing Everyone: Mass Entertainment in Renaissance London and Golden-Age Hollywood by Jeffrey Knapp (Eggers Professor of English, Eggers Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley)

Shakespeare's plays were immensely popular in their own day - so why do we refuse to think of them as mass entertainment? In Pleasing Everyone, author Jeffrey Knapp opens our eyes to the uncanny resemblance between Renaissance drama and the incontrovertibly mass medium of Golden-Age Hollywood cinema. Through fascinating explorations of such famous plays as Hamlet, The Roaring Girl, and The Alchemist, and such celebrated films as Citizen Kane, The Jazz Singer, and City Lights, Knapp challenges some of our most basic assumptions about the relationship between art and mass audiences. Above all, Knapp encourages us to resist the prejudice that mass entertainment necessarily simplifies and cheapens whatever it touches. As Knapp shows, it was instead the ceaseless pressure to please everyone that helped generate the astonishing richness and complexity of Renaissance drama as well as of Hollywood film.

Pleasing Everyone Reviews

Jeffrey Knapp's Pleasing Everyone: Mass Entertainment in Renaissance London and Golden-Age Hollywood persuasively argues that the size of theatre audiences and the popularity of printed playbooks mean that Renaissance drama should be classed as mass entertainment...Knapp avoids the trap of making generalizations about two very different time periods, carefully historicizing his analysis of plays and film alike. The comparison between Renaissance drama and goldenage Hollywood forces us to re-evaluate modern attitudes to popular entertainment and mass media. For the early modern scholar, Knapp's monogram offers a welcome reminder that Renaissance drama was not only popular but often populist. * Jennifer Cryar, The English Association *
Knapp has written one of the most interesting books about Shakespeare and film precisely because it isn't a study of Shakespeare on film, thereby revealing some highly original insights about both forms. * Henry Turner, SEl *
An important and eminently readable book whose central hypothesis needs to be taken seriously by anyone who entertains an interest in Renaissance drama or popular entertainment of whatever guise. * Bulletin of the Comedi antes *
With its original critical and historiographical strategies and meticulous scholarship, Pleasing Everyone is a remarkable achievement. Knapp's acute comparative analyses of the performance cultures of Shakespeare's London and Hollywood's 'Golden Age' and sophisticated, lively readings of films and plays make this an outstandingly engaging and stimulating read."-RUSSELL JACKSON, University of Birmingham
What happens when, putting our high-toned Renaissance drama next to our lowdown Hollywood cinema, we think them together? In Jeffrey Knapp's strongly argued new study, the outcome is an original-and highly usable-conception of 'mass entertainment' in which art and junk, individual and mass, author and collaboration are always inseparable in their dialectical play. For all its immortal verses, the drama proves as fully invested in the business of popular entertainment as anything that came after it; and despite its programmatic accessibility, the cinema acquires an artistic credibility that makes talk of 'authors' and 'self-reflection' necessary categories of analysis. The intricate readings that carry this argument forward are so fresh that even practiced critical hands may feel they are discovering The Winter's Tale or Citizen Kane for the first time."-D.A. MILLER, University of California, Berkeley
In taking on the theater/film dyad, Knapp strikes at the heart of many of the theoretical foundations of the entire field of cinema studies itself, patiently eroding the apparent self-evidence of terms such as 'mass,' 'entertainment,' 'art,' 'modernity,' and 'technology,' by giving them a different history and by showing, through a series of tour-de-force close readings, how that history has been shaped and reflected upon by plays and films themselves. Pleasing Everyone is a game-changer, bringing to cinema and media studies a salutary shift in frame of reference that will be the source of much study and debate."-JAMES SCHAMUS, Columbia University

About Jeffrey Knapp (Eggers Professor of English, Eggers Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley)

Jeffrey Knapp is the Eggers Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several books, including An Empire Nowhere: England and America from Utopia to The Tempest (1992), Shakespeare's Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (2002), and Shakespeare Only (2009).

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: The Individual and the Mass 1. Which Moll? 2. The Real John Doe Part 2: Show Business 3. I Must Be Idle 4. One Step Ahead of My Shadow Part 3: Junk and Art 5. Mocked With Art 6. Throw That Junk Epilogue: The Author of Mass Entertainment Coda: A Second Look Notes Works Cited

Additional information

GOR011140111
Pleasing Everyone: Mass Entertainment in Renaissance London and Golden-Age Hollywood by Jeffrey Knapp (Eggers Professor of English, Eggers Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley)
Used - Like New
Hardback
Oxford University Press Inc
2017-02-23
312
0190634065
9780190634063
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

Customer Reviews - Pleasing Everyone