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The Soul of Pleasure
Author: David Monod

ISBN: 9781501702389
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 9 May 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.11 x 15.88 x 2.64
Description:
Show business is today so essential to American culture it's hard to imagine a time when it was marginal. But as David Monod demonstrates, the appetite for amusements outside the home was not "natural": it developed slowly over the course of the nineteenth century. The Soul of Pleasure offers a new interpretation of how the taste for entertainment was cultivated. Monod focuses on the shifting connection between the people who built successful popular entertainments and the public who consumed them. Show people discovered that they had to adapt entertainment to the moral outlook of Americans, which they did by appealing to sentiment. The Soul of Pleasure explores several controversial forms of popular culture-minstrel acts, burlesques, and saloon variety shows-and places them in the context of changing values and perceptions. Far from challenging respectability, Monod argues that entertainments reflected and transformed the audience's ideals. In the mid-nineteenth century, sentimentality not only infused performance styles and the content of shows but also altered the expectations of the theatergoing public. Sentimental entertainment depended on sensational effects t...

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