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Masked Performance: The Play of Self and Other in Ritual and Theater Paperback – August 1, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081221336X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812213362
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

By John Emigh

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Petersen on January 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
John Emigh in his book, Masked Performance, has himself created something of a one-man masked performance like the Balinese masked drama, topeng pajegan, he describes. This book is revealing, beguiling, and pleasantly bewildering for the multitude of voices, roles, and masks that he presents. Emigh writes as an actor, anthropologist, director, dramaturge, and Asian theatre scholar and while each one of these roles illuminates a realm of masking and playing, at the same time, they obscure some other realm. The result does not produce a grand universal scheme of masking in performance (à la Gordon Craig) rather a richly complex yet accessible smorgasbord of ideas that are intended to inspire a sense of wonder about the human occupation with masking and performing. The book is a joy to read because it is not beholden to any single genre of academic writing but is part scholarly record, part personal memoir, part philosophical treatise. By departing from a purely descriptive analysis Emigh attempts to probe the function and purpose of masking in performance. The fundamental premise that he explores is that masking represents on many levels an encounter between the self (the performer) and the other (the character). What comes of this encounter is a performance that lingers somewhere between the ontological idea of me and not-me. Unlike most modern dramatic performances based on a script, a masked performance often implies the relationship between the mask and the performer is unstable and may even lead to a loss of self.Read more ›
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