Read e-book online Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture PDF

Robert Allen's compelling ebook examines burlesque not just as renowned leisure but additionally as a fancy and reworking cultural phenomenon. while Lydia Thompson and her arguable lady troupe of "British Blondes" introduced glossy burlesque to the U.S. in 1868, the end result used to be electrical. Their impertinent humor, streetwise demeanour, and provocative parodies of masculinity introduced them huge, immense renowned success--and the condemnation of critics, cultural commentators, or even women's rights campaigners.
Burlesque used to be a cultural possibility, Allen argues, since it inverted the "normal" global of middle-class social relatives and transgressed norms of "proper" female habit and visual appeal. first and foremost taking part in to first rate middle-class audiences, burlesque used to be fast relegated to the shadow-world of working-class male rest. during this procedure the burlesque performer "lost" her voice, as burlesque more and more revolved round the demonstrate of her body.
Locating burlesque in the context of either the social transformation of yankee theater and its styles of gender illustration, Allen concludes that burlesque represents a desirable instance of the aptitude transgressiveness of well known leisure types, in addition to the recommendations during which they've been contained and their threats defused.

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