Mae West: A Bio-Bibliography

Hardcover | March 1, 1989

byCarol M. Ward

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This provocative work analyzes Mae West's long life and productive career in three major phases: the early theater years, her meteoric film career in the thirties, and her subsequent life as a popular culture legend. It examines her theatrical approach to life and her unique talent for translating a low comic variety style into a subtle satire of melodramatic conventions. West's attempts to control her comic creation led her into many public battles over her claims to authorship of her plays and filmscripts. The book's bibliography explores her talents as a writer, summarizing the plays and books she wrote and investigating the validity of those claims. A thorough study of West's background and attitudes, this volume combines the approaches of both biographical and critical/artistic analysis and broadens our understanding of how Mae West fits into American popular culture. The book examines West's philosophy of success and how it was reflected in her personal and professional life, and places her in a historical and cultural perspective without forcing her personality into predetermined categories. This bio-bibliography provides a fresh view of the legendary Mae West, and a new insight into the complexity of her artistry and social vision. It will be a valuable addition to all public libraries, and a useful resource in the study of American popular culture and film history.

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This provocative work analyzes Mae West's long life and productive career in three major phases: the early theater years, her meteoric film career in the thirties, and her subsequent life as a popular culture legend. It examines her theatrical approach to life and her unique talent for translating a low comic variety style into a subtl...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:241 pages, 9.52 × 6.39 × 1.03 inPublished:March 1, 1989Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313247161

ISBN - 13:9780313247163

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?Ward's biobibliography is a thorough and interesting investigation of the life and legend (if they are different) of Mae West. Chapters include a biography, a definition and examination of the art of Mae West, and a bibliographical checklist of key Mae West sources. An Interviews' chapter pulls together the most revealing interviews, spanning many years and quoting liberally--including the full texts of some interviews by Ruth Biery and George Christy. The Bibliographical Essay' evaluates and surveys works by and about West, including Fergus Cashin's questionable Mae West (1981) (with insinuations about indeterminate sex" and female impersonation) and George Eells and Stanley Musgrove's readable Mae West (1982), which debunks some myths and appreciates the subject but lacks cited sources. West wrote an autobiography, Goodness Had Nothing To Do with It (1959). Ward's work concludes with appendixes (chronological biography, theater performances, film performances, discography), notes, and an index. Sprinkled throughout are examples of West's wit--I used to be Snow White but I drifted.' Recommended for film collections in all types of libraries.??Choice