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The Anatomy of Harpo Marx Paperback – Feb 29 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First edition (Feb. 29 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520269012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520269019
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,807,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


“A zesty and deeply literate joy to read.”
(Jonathan Kiefer New Haven Review 2012-04-06)

“A charming and rigorous study.”
(Brian Dillon Sight & Sound Magazine 2012-03-01)

“A fittingly zany, aphoristic, and meandering study of the great mime of Marx Brothers fame. . . . Koestenbaum’s approach to Harpo makes for highly animated reading.”
(Noah Isenberg Bookforum 2012-08-01)

“Koestenbaum provides an informed, original, and near-obsessive assessment of all things Harpo.”
(Publishers Weekly 2012-01-30)

“Provocative, original scholarship that lights a fire under the typically stodgy studies that we usually get from university press star biographies.”
(Dennis King Oklahoman 2012-06-26)

From the Inside Flap

“Wayne Koestenbaum is our Roland Barthes, updated, remastered, cleared for the pressure zone of American mythologies. Delicate and brave, discerning and outrageous, the meditations organized around the other Marx track unconscious byways and the remarkable turns of a highly personal investment. Startlingly original, Koestenbaum provides critical understanding with poetic acuity and breathtaking disclosure.”―Avital Ronell, author of The Test Drive

"The Anatomy of Harpo Marx is an effusive and provocative celebration of the potential of nonverbal communication, lying somewhere between poetry and criticism, history and diary, polemic and self-analysis. It is also funny, smart, often revelatory, and always sharp. It is, for all its analytical depth, a great read."―Michael Long, author of Beautiful Monsters: Imagining the Classic in Musical Media

“Behind that face and in Harpo’s body, Wayne Koestenbaum finds more material than existed in New York’s fabled garment district. Koestenbaum's work is compelling and surprising; his detailed explorations, gifts to readers wondering about what lies beneath our culture’s surfaces. Read Wayne Koestenbaum for his exuberant embrace of the unrecognized or ignored; for his pleasure in explaining the inexplicable, and for his delight in deciphering Elizabeth Taylor’s cleavage. Read him now for unveiling the most enigmatic of presences, Harpo Marx. ―Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, A Comedy

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