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  • “From the Archives of Keystone Memory”: Slapstick and Re-membrance at Columbia Pictures’ Short-Subjects Department

    Rob King

    Chapter from the book: King, R. 2017. Hokum!: The Early Sound Slapstick Short and Depression-Era Mass Culture.

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    This chapter turns to the old-time slapstick vogue of the mid- to late 1930s and the role of nostalgia in the “re-membering” (Barbara Myerhoff) of slapstick’s meaning and function as a residual cultural form. The focus falls on Columbia Pictures’ short-subject department, which, from its reorganization in the early 1930s, gradually built a reputation as one of the industry’s chief restorers of “throwback,” Mack Sennett-style slapstick traditions. The chapter reconstructs the terms of that restoration through a formal comparison of Buster Keaton’s shorts for the studio with those of Columbia’s star slapstick team, the Three Stooges. But it also examines a political vector to Columbia’s throwback house style by assessing the relationship linking popular comedic forms to the populist imaginaries of New Deal-era America.

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    King, R. 2017. “From the Archives of Keystone Memory”: Slapstick and Re-membrance at Columbia Pictures’ Short-Subjects Department. In: King, R, Hokum!. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.28.f
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    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on April 7, 2017

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.28.f


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