Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press
Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press (click images to enlarge)
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Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from Yale University Press

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Description of Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence (Jewish Lives) from...

"Groucho and his brothers are outlaws, outcasts, and singular reproaches to society's injustices and hypocrisies ... with deep roots in Jewish forms of irony and dissent,” author Lee Siegel writes. The famous dance sequence with Harpo leading a troupe of black children and adults, often dismissed as “another instance of Hollywood racism, is, on the contrary, as strong a statement of racial equality as you can find on the world of film.”

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A trenchant examination of an iconic American figure that explores the cultural and psychological roots of his comic genius

Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer’s outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho’s early upbringing and Marx family dynamics.
 
The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho’s comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers’ classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel’s “bio-commentary” makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.

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