Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives on the Life and Art of the Great Comedian

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives on the Life and Art of the Great Comedian

Article excerpt

GENERAL NONFICTION The Essential Chaplin: Perspectives on the Life and Art of the Great Comedian, edited with and introduction by Richard Schickel. Ivan R. Dee, July 2006. $27.50 cloth, $16.95 paper

That Charlie Chaplin, long the most famous person in the world, exerted his singularly powerful and enduring hold on several generations of moviegoers hardly qualifies as news. That he has moved such disparate figures as Winston Churchill, Graham Greene, Gilbert Seldes, Alistair Cooke, Edmund Wilson, James Agee, and Theodor Adorno, (among many others) to attack, defend, justify, rhapsodize, agonize, and otherwise utilize his work for their own occasional, and often deadly serious, prose-well, that calls for more reflection. The distinguished film historian and critic Richard Schickel, compiling this mercurial anthology of writings about Chaplin-reaching from the early days of Mack Sennett one-reelers to J. Hoberman's fine tribute on the hundredth anniversary of the actor's birth-sought to include writers with day jobs other than movie reviewing. Thus the book's best feature is its organized cacophony, its trace of this astonishingly long and rich body of work and personal travail (after all, no star's career is complete without its share of offscreen mayhem, and Chaplin obliged all too well in this, too) in some several dozen voices of fading or lasting memory, and with countless aesthetic and ideological grudges beyond the narrow province of the movies. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.