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Pictures at an execution

Author: Wendy Lesser
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book is about murder - in life and in art - and about how we look at it and feel about it. At the center of Wendy Lesser's investigation is a groundbreaking legal case in which a federal court judge was asked to decide whether a gas chamber execution would be broadcast on public television. Our grim and seemingly endless fascination with murder gets its day in court as Lesser conducts us through the
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lesser, Wendy.
Pictures at an execution.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)647295365
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Wendy Lesser
ISBN: 0674667352 9780674667358
OCLC Number: 27897148
Description: viii, 270 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Wendy Lesser.

Abstract:

This text examines "murder", exploring how we perceive it and what we make of it in law, morality and art. Focusing on a legal case over whether a gas chamber execution should be shown on television,  Read more...

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Her style is not dense but enviable, a joy to read, like listening to an old friend. -- Douglas Dennis "Angolite" Lesser's mesmerizing study about the spectatorship of murder...demonstrates why a Read more...

 
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   schema:description "Lesser narrates the trial with a sharp eye for detail and an absorbing sense of character. Questions that arise in the courtroom conjure other, broader ones why are we drawn to murder, as an act and as a spectacle? Who in a murder story are we drawn to - victim, murderer, detective? Is such interest, even pleasure, morally suspect?"@en ;
   schema:description "Lesser's reflections on these questions follow the culture in its danse macabre, from Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song to the Jacobean play The Changeling, from Errol Morris's documentary The Thin Blue Line to Crime and Punishment, from Janet Malcolm's The Journalist and the Murderer to Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, from Weegee's photographs to television's movie of the week. Always anchored in the courtroom, where the question of murder as theater is being settled in immediate, human terms, this circle of thought widens outward to the increasingly blurred borderline between real and fictional murder, between event and story, between murder as news and murder as art."@en ;
   schema:description "As gripping as its subject, Pictures at an Execution brings us face to face with our own most disturbing cultural impulses."@en ;
   schema:description "Her book, itself a murder mystery of sorts, circling suspensefully around a central point, is also a meditation on murder in a civilized society - what we make of it in law, morality, and art."@en ;
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