Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mae West: Desirable Women

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 48.
• • "Mae West. The Dirty Snow White" • •
• • Written by:  Zsófia Anna Tóth
• • clothes and the body • •
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: The “body/appearance dynamic” is manipulated by clothing, and the fluidity of identities is highlighted through their construction — — hence their ontology is connected to this enactment — — only “at the moment of performance” (Bruzzi 167). The importance of clothes in the performative enactment of the body is also emphasized here: “[c]lothes are always performative in that they function as signs or enactments on the body to give that body the illusion of integrity and substance” (167). In this context, West’s excessive feminine performativity and masquerade all serve the creation of the illusion of a (desirable) woman to hide her masculinity.
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: Elaine Showalter, in accordance with Judith Butler, points out that the “womanly woman” is only a construction and a performance since “[f]emininity is a construct; growing up female means learning to play a role” (xi-xii).
• • The Double Meaning • • . . .
• • This was Part 48 of a lengthy article. Part 49 will follow tomorrow.  
• • Source: Americana — — E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary; Vol. XI, No. 1, Spring 2015.
• • On Tuesday, 11 April 1911 in Milwaukee • •
• • According to Time Magazine: Myrtle Lorraine Sands, a young woman who used to work in Los Angeles, where she had fun spotting film folk in public places, is now in charge of re-indexing the records of births, marriages & deaths in the office of the County Register of Deeds, Milwaukee. One day last fortnight, when she happened upon Marriage Certificate No. 40553, Myrtle Sands's eyes bulged, her heart jumped. The certificate proclaimed the union of Frank Wallace and Mae West, of Brooklyn, N. Y., April 11, 1911. . . [Time, 6 May 1935].
• • Mae West and Frank Wallace (Frank Szatkus) tied the knot on Tuesday, 11 April 1911, but Mae claimed they did not live together. Mae described herself as a kiss-less bride. Shortly after, Wallace wed another woman and Mae married Guido Deiro. Mr. and Mrs. Wallace divorced officially on 23 July 1942.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • When Ottiano was 39, she was handpicked by Mae West to play her female adversary in her hit Broadway show “Diamond Lil.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Will I last? That's the question which had Hollywood talking from the time I first flashed on the screen ‘til today. I can answer that one for Hollywood. My answer is in the affirmative.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A student trip to Los Angeles mentioned Mae West.
• • For trip leader Dr. Alissa Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Co-Curator of the Peter Whitehead Archive, it is a chance to further her work on women working as performers in the “Classic Hollywood” era. She plans to dig into the Mae West archives and study documents written by Olivia de Haviliand.
• • She said: “There’s a real lack of writing about this. I’m approaching it from a drama perspective so I’m looking at what they are drawing on, this unacknowledged skill. It’s often described as just being ‘talent’ but there’s more to it than that.
• • She said: “Both Mae West and Olivia de Haviliand were strong women who wanted to control their careers and you can see that in how they approach their work, you can see them become more driven performers.” . . .
• • Source: Item on DMU’s site;  published on Tuesday, 4 July 2017
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• •
• • 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 3937th 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 1911

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