Monday, February 12, 2018

Mae West: Transgressive Acts

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 6.
• • "Mae West. The Dirty Snow White" • •
• • Written by:  Zsófia Anna Tóth
• • especially gendered humor • •
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: Throughout her life, Mae West promoted social and cultural equality of disadvantaged groups and minorities by using humor, especially gendered humor within cultural interactions, helping the social and cultural recognition and acceptance of issues related to class, race and gender, especially advocating the problems of feminism and homosexuality.
• • transgressive acts that challenged the set ideals • •
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: My first focus will be on how she tried to ameliorate the situation of women through her transgressive acts and performances that challenged the set ideals of womanhood and femininity of the times by using the trope of the witty, humorous prostitute. For instance, in her play “Sex,” which was one of her greatest successes and scandals at the same time, the protagonist is precisely a prostitute and, as Lillian Schlissel claims: “the success of Sex was astonishing. In writing of a hooker and a happy ending, Mae West challenged Broadway rules.”
• • Worked around the figure of the “fallen woman” • • . . .
• • This was Part 6 of a lengthy article. Part 7 will follow tomorrow.
• • Source: Americana — — E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary; Vol. XI, No. 1, Spring 2015.
• • On Saturday, 12 February 1949 in Billboard
• • Saturday night watching Mae West as the Bowery belle Diamond Lil at the Coronet Theatre, wow.
• • Billboard reviewer Bob Francis was in the crowd on her opening night (Saturday, 5 February 1949) and recorded his fascinations in a lengthy, generously detailed piece that was printed the following week on Saturday, 12 February 1949 in Billboard Magazine. Critic Bob Francis had an exceptional perspective, since he had seen the show at the Royale Theatre in 1928, too. 
• • Note: There is a special place in heaven for theatre-goers who see a Mae West play twice. Awesome!
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Financially speaking, Mae West outpaced her male and female movie-land peers. Publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst received half-a-million in 1935. Mae West was right behind her nemesis with salary checks totaling $339,166.65 during the same period.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I had to have the spotlight more than anything else, shining full on me. I ached for the spotlight — — which was like the strongest man's arm around me, like an ermine coat."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Scottish newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • “Mae West Honoured” • •
• • Compared many times to Venus, Cleopatra, Salome, and other famous beauties, Mae West has been requested to “double” for the Statue of Liberty. Miss West received the invitation and the request from the Mayor of Michigan City, Mr R. C. Fedder ...
• • Source: Item in Falkirk Herald [Stirlingshire, Scotland]; published on Wednesday, 3 July 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 3895th 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.

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• • Mae West • Tom Tierney draws Mae

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