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Too much of a good thing : Mae West as cultural icon

Author: Ramona Curry
Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Before Madonna, before Marilyn, there was Mae. The impact of Mae West - through her films, attitude, and aphorisms ("Too much of a good thing can be wonderful"; "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?") - continues to reverberate through American popular culture more than fifteen years after her death. In Too Much of a Good Thing, Ramona Curry examines the interplay between West's bawdy,
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Mae West; Mae West; Mae West; Mae West
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ramona Curry
ISBN: 0816627908 9780816627905 0816627916 9780816627912
OCLC Number: 33335635
Description: xxii, 217 pages, [32] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: Posthumous Citings from Pistol to Puddle --
1. The Sex "Queen" --
2. The Prostitute, the Production Code, and the Depression --
3. The Star Commodity from Asset to Liability --
4. Comedic Performance from Social Satire to Self-Parody --
5. The Female Impersonator in Gender Politics --
6. Merging Interests.
Responsibility: Ramona Curry.
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Abstract:

Before Madonna, before Marilyn, there was Mae. The impact of Mae West - through her films, attitude, and aphorisms ("Too much of a good thing can be wonderful"; "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?") - continues to reverberate through American popular culture more than fifteen years after her death. In Too Much of a Good Thing, Ramona Curry examines the interplay between West's bawdy, worldly persona and twentieth-century gender and media politics.

Although West has remained an important figure, her image has fulfilled varied cultural functions. In the thirties, she was a lightning rod for debates over morality and censorship. In the seventies, the complexity of her portrayal of gender made her a controversial figure for both the gay rights and feminist movements. Curry not only analyzes the symbolic roles West has occupied, arguing that the entertainer represents a carefully orchestrated transgression of race, class, and gender expectations, she also illustrates how icons of pop culture often distill contested social issues, serving diverse and even contradictory political functions. A pithy and innovative look at what Mae West means, Too Much of a Good Thing is must reading for fans, film buffs, and anyone interested in how popular culture evolves and circulates in the United States.

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