The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

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The Anatomy of Harpo Marx is a luxuriant, detailed play-by-play account of Harpo Marxa€™s physical movements as captured on screen. Wayne Koestenbaum guides us through the thirteen Marx Brothers films, from The Cocoanuts in 1929 to Love Happy in 1950, to focus on Harpoa€™s chief and yet heretofore unexplored attributea€”his profound and contradictory corporeality. Koestenbaum celebrates the astonishing range of Harpoa€™s bodya€”its kinks, sexual multiplicities, somnolence, Jewishness, qcuteq pathos, and more. In a virtuosic performance, Koestenbauma€™s text moves gracefully from insightful analysis to cultural critique to autobiographical musing, and provides Harpo with a host of odd bedfellows, including Walter Benjamin and Barbra Streisand.... as Harpo, who, sitting on the couch while Chico and Groucho talk, maintains a spya#39;s posture, eyes attuned to ambient frequencies. ... a glad groundhog; but if you thwart him, he will bop you over the head with his honker, a subalterna#39;s scepter, providing a merely playpen sovereignty. ... Enthralling, the speed and efficiency of Harpoa#39;s reverse factory, an assembly line that destroys rather than produces.

Title:The Anatomy of Harpo Marx
Author:Wayne Koestenbaum
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 2012-02-29


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