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Author Gordon, Rae Beth, 1940-

Title Dances with Darwin, 1875-1910 : vernacular modernity in France / Rae Beth Gordon
Published Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, [2009]
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Description 1 online resource (xiv, 311 pages : illustrations.)
Contents The epileptic singers -- Darwinism and degeneration theory in popular culture -- What is ugly? -- Natural rhythm : Africans and Black Americans in Paris -- Epileptic singers and the mysteries of the dark continent -- Darwin meets Père Ubu -- Darwin's avant-garde : Ubu's progeny
Summary "Examining the extraordinary influence of Darwin's theory of evolution on French thought from 1875 to 1910, Rae Beth Gordon argues for a reconsideration of modernism both in time and in place that situates its beginnings in the French cafe-concert aesthetic. Gordon weaves the history of medical science, ethnology, and popular culture into a exploration of the cultural implications of gesture in dance performances at late-nineteenthcentury Parisian cafe-concerts and music halls." "While art historians have studied the ties between primitivism and modernism, their convergence in fin-de-siecle popular entertainment has been largely overlooked. Gordon argues that while the impact of Darwinism was unprecedented in science, it was no less present in popular culture through the popular press and popular entertainment, where it constituted a kind of "evolutionist aesthetic" on display in the cafe-concert, circus, and music-hall as well as in the spectator's reception of the
Representations on the stage. Modernity in these sites, Gordon contends, was composed by the convergence of contemporary medical theory with representations of the primitive, staged in entertainments that ranged from the can-can, Missing Links, and epileptic singers to the Cake-Walk. Her anthropology of gesture uncovers in these dislocations of the human form an aesthetic of disorder a half century before the eruptions of Dada and Surrealism." --Book Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 277-293) and index
Notes Description based on print version record
Subject Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882 -- Criticism and interpretation
Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882
Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882.
Art -- history.
Anthropology, Cultural -- history.
Esthetics -- history.
History, 19th Century.
Social Change -- history.
Anthropology and the arts -- France -- Paris
Art and popular culture -- France -- Paris
Arts, French -- France -- Paris
Coffeehouses -- France -- Paris
Dance -- France -- Paris
Evolution (Biology)
Modernism (Aesthetics) -- France -- Paris
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.) -- France -- Paris.
Science and the arts -- France -- Paris
Anthropology and the arts.
Art and popular culture.
Arts, French.
Evolution (Biology)
Modernism (Aesthetics)
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)
Science and the arts.
France -- Paris.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1315258560