Thursday, February 08, 2018

Mae West: Phallic Presence

While you’re sleeping, college professors in Hungary are thinking about MAE WEST. Here’s a long, striking research paper you might have missed. This is Part 4.
• • "Mae West. The Dirty Snow White" • •
• • Written by:  Zsófia Anna Tóth
• • A strong, phallic presence • • 
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote:  In the range of topics she covered in her writing and her performances there is again a surprise: her stories were usually simplistic, focusing on how Mae West as a woman of questionable morals and great sexual allure performs actually herself (that is, the cultural icon), with the background story being always about finding love. However, as a writer, as an auteur, as an actress, performer and public persona, she challenged the questions and boundaries of gender, race and class; through her wit and comic acts she transgressed those boundaries while, in fact, she hardly ever did or said anything with which she actually committed those transgressions, while she always appeared to do so.
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: Mae West indulged in talking about delicate issues (sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular, interracial sexual relations, prostitution, criminals, the underworld, drug use) and that is why she often had problems with censors, but in spite of the controversial themes of her works, she never went beyond a certain point of decency.
• • Beyond a certain point of decency • •   . . .
• • This was Part 4 of a lengthy article. Part 5 will follow tomorrow.
• • Source: Americana — — E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary; Vol. XI, No. 1, Spring 2015.
• • On Tuesday, 8 February 1927 • •
• • The date was Tuesday, on 8 February 1927. Mae had staged a midnight "sneak preview" of "The Drag" at Daly's 63rd Street Theatre, reported Variety Magazine; invited attendees included city officials and several respected physicians, who had been expected to give the play an endorsement.
• • Forty-one weeks into a sell-out run of "Sex," Jimmy Walker happened to be out of town and the acting Hizzoner, holier-than-thou Joseph V. McKee, decided to send in the cops. Because of "holy Joe" getting her arrested, and brought to Jefferson Market's Police Court, Mae West wound up spending the night of February 9th in Jefferson Market Jail.
• • After a trial in the Jefferson Market Courthouse during March 1927, Mae West wound up convicted of "corrupting the morals of youth." She was sentenced to ten days in the Women's Workhouse on Welfare Island.
• • "I expect it will be the making of me," she told reporters. And, yes, it was: it made her a household name.
• • But "The Drag" died in Mae's dreams and did not open.
• • The stage play “Courting Mae West” dramatizes these true events.  Inquiries are welcome.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West got her star on the "Walk of Fame" at 1560 Vine Street on 8 February 1960.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "No gold-digging for me. I'll take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A British daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West Coming for the King’s Jubilee to Risk Cockney Dialect and Oxford Manner • •
• • Beverly Hills (Cal.), Friday. Mae West described to-day her plans for visiting London, England for the King's Jubilee. “Yes, it's true. I'm London-minded,” replied the screen's hottest new star ...
• • Source: Item in Leeds Mercury; published on: Saturday, 19 January 1935
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3893rd 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1927

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