Download Staging Modern American Life: Popular Culture in the by Thomas Fahy (auth.) PDF

By Thomas Fahy (auth.)

Thomas Fahy examines the combination of and demanding situations to pop culture present in the theatrical works of Millay, Cummings, and Dos Passos, that have principally been marginalized in discussions of theatre heritage and literary stories, regardless of providing a hybrid theatre that integrates well liked by formal, and mainstream with experimental

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Additional resources for Staging Modern American Life: Popular Culture in the Experimental Theatre of Millay, Cummings, and Dos Passos

Sample text

Tomes’s The Bazar [sic] Book of Decorum, for example, explicitly addresses the slattern: “No man can long endure a slattern at home, and especially if she appears the fine lady abroad, and thus shows her contemptuous preference of the opinion of others to his” (172). Social convention among the middle and upper classes demanded the regulation of a woman’s public and private life, and as this text suggests, men could—and would—expect equally dazzling performances in both arenas. Not surprisingly, Tidy tacitly agrees with the king’s plan to “go/ From kitchen to kitchen, that I may know/ And judge for myself what maid is worth/ To sit at my side” (14).

The king encounters two women, Tidy and Slut, who embody neatness and “slovenly ease,” respectively. ” (11). Food is bountiful and fresh in this house. It contributes to the domestic ideal she embodies. Slut, however, is indolent and sloppy: “In clutter and filth I am quite content” (11). Her table is weighed down by “stale food” and unwashed plates. ” 43 of the king’s visit, they reverse roles. By Chance (the narrator of the play), Tidy’s kitchen is a disaster: milk has soured; her broiled duck was dragged away by the neighbor’s dog; the cakes, pies, and tarts in the oven have burned; and the quince jelly has boiled over.

As a result, she tried as an artist to navigate both worlds, and Aria da Capo expresses, in part, her own ambivalence about participating in avant-garde and mainstream popular culture. She found certain aspects of modernist art, like the cubist and futurist works of the Armory Show, for example, offensive in their “eccentricities” and “willful defiance of tradition” (qtd. 4 Millay recognized the ways in which entertainment culture encouraged audiences to forget and thus indirectly support the war and other hardships; yet she couldn’t condemn this culture entirely.

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