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Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life
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Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The puppet creates delight and fear. It may evoke the innocent play of childhood, or become a tool of ritual magic, able to negotiate with ghosts and gods. Puppets can be creepy things, secretive, inanimate while also full of spirit, alive with gesture and voice.In this eloquent book, Kenneth Gross contemplates the fascination of these unsettling objects—objects that are a ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2011 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jim Coughenour
This is a strange book, one that almost resists reading because it is so strange. It comes with some of the best blurbs I've ever seen. Rikki Ducornet: "You have in your hands a uniquely beautiful book... My copy burns brightly on my favorite shelf, beside The Poetics of Space, Eccentric Spaces and In Praise of Shadows." Richard Howard (surely the doyen of handcrafted blurbs): "Read it as you always meant to read the Bible: by chapters, by pages, persistently by sentences, readily pausing to con ...more
Melinda Jane Harrison
I've always felt that dolls could be scary things. Puppets even more frightening. Take those two elements, combine them with Freud's Uncanny and you have a gothic or horror real life drama. If you have ever seen an automaton, then you have probably experienced The Uncanny, the thought of a lifeless thing being alive.

Dolls and puppets have been around for a long time, as companions and tools to use in sympathetic magic.

The whole idea of dolls as people is surreal.

In the future, it may be a real h
Kate Klein
Oct 28, 2014 Kate Klein rated it really liked it
I really loved the first five chapters, but found that it grew repetitive.
Feb 11, 2014 Morgan rated it liked it
Gorgeously written, but often tedious. He is best when speaking about the lives of objects. I grew quickly tired of the elaborate, detailed descriptions of puppet shows.

His exploration of table settings in Chapter 2 was one of the most beautiful and inspirational things I have ever read.
Susannah Strong
Apr 07, 2013 Susannah Strong rated it really liked it
Writing style reminds me of The Poetics of Space, but rewritten as an extended study on puppetry. Wonderful. Can't say enough good things about this one.
Jan 17, 2015 Kodiaksm rated it did not like it
Rating is -1
This book was extremely disappointing!
Dec 26, 2011 jennifer marked it as given
anna - winter 2011
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