Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Mae West: Wilds of Brooklyn

In November 1933, a literary magazine printed an essay written by Paul  Connolly about the allure and appeal of a rising movie star named MAE WEST. This is the second excerpt.
• • "A Philosopher Looks at Mae West" (continued) • •
• • After his opening pages, essayist Paul Connolly commented about this:  Mae herself was at one time in burlesque as a strong woman, following a girlhood spent in the wilds of Brooklyn.  As to her early schooling and home life this writer has no information. As philosophers, however, we all have the certitude of visible evidence, that she has an interesting background.
• • Paul Connolly recalled:  A few years ago Mae was starring on Broadway both as an actress and as an authoress. Apparently, however, there were neither philosophers nor cultured men in the New York City Police Department, for they failed to recognize the humor in her play "Sex." The result was that Mae spent a few days as the "guest" of the State.
• • We have seen that "our Mae" is an interesting subject for psychological research and it is easily proven that she is equally as interesting to the other branches of philosophy.  Logicians could say:  "Cultured people enjoy Mae West." Cosmologists could point to her as a fine example of vital phenomena.  The Ontologists might term her "the most common of all notions."
• • Well, it may be that we have not gotten anywhere with this article, but everyone must admit that Mae West is a great character and an interesting topic for discussion. At least I have enjoyed my journey into the spaces of philosophical thought — — led by a star.
• • My mind is up there now — — up, up — — in the third degree of abstraction.  It is great up here.  "You must come up some time."  
• • Part 2 of this selected excerpt ends here.
• • Source: Excerpt from the essay "A Philosopher Looks at Mae West" by Paul Connolly first printed by The Alembic  (Providence College); published in the issue for November 1933.
• • On Saturday, 3 November 1990 in The L.A. Times • •
• • When the Los Angeles Times ran his obit, this was the title: "Craig Russell, Actor and Widely Known Female Impersonator, Was Mae West Fan." The bio-note that touched on his exciting career highlights, printed on Saturday, 3 November 1990, informed their West Coast readers that "Craig Russell, star of the 1977 film 'Outrageous,' hailed by critics as an insightful tale of the gay underworld in which a schizophrenic girl moves in with a struggling female impersonator, has died of a stroke resulting from AIDS, a Toronto hospital official said. He was 42. ..."
• • On Saturday, 3 November 2001 in The Scotsman • •
• • A book review of a Mae West biography by the California scholar Jill Watts ran on Saturday, 3 November 2001. Critic Carole Morin wrote this first paragraph: Mae West was 39 by the time she made it to Hollywood as the big blonde who had lost her reputation and never missed it. She began performing at the age of four, encouraged by her pushy mom, Tillie, and her boxer father, bad Jack. Tillie ran a bootleg hotel for Owney Madden, owner of the Cotton Club, giving mineral water-drinking Mae and her alcoholic sister opportunities for affairs with gangsters and actors. ...
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • As soon as Mrs. West noted that her little Mae had golden hair and an assertive personality, she encouraged her in all the little smartnesses that might mean theatrical talent.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:"She who laughs lasts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West and the Royale Theatre.
• • "To Mae West's theatre" • •
• • From the Cornell Club at 38th Street and Madison Avenue, the hilarious gang proceeded to Mae West's theatre, then to the Paramount Grill, uncorking vigorous cheers at each stop. Then returning to the Campus with enthusiasm unabated the men treated the Barnard girls to some cheers and concluded with a "Good Night, Ladies." Then to John Jay Hall where the rallyites reluctantly dispersed, happy in the thought of a good job well done. . . .
• • Source: Item (Page 4) in Columbia Daily Spectator (NYC): published on Saturday, 3 November 1928  
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,200 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3302nd blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1928

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