From Library Journal
An average American four to eight years of age sees 250 war cartoons and 1000 ads for war toys each year. The cartoons have 60 to 80 acts of violence; 30-second commercials, six to eight. Survivors graduate to watch A-Team reruns that have only 40 acts of violence. Twitchell tells us not to worry. St. Augustine said circus violence produced barbarians, but we have survived circuses, gory novels, comic books, and murderous movies. Further, Marxists are wrong to think that violence is orchestrated for ruling-class ends. Barthes is mentioned here, but Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida, who argue that the mad violence of our time is rooted in deep conceptual structures, are not in Twitchell's bibliography. Apparently, like tribal puberty rites, movie and TV violence serves to initiate the young, and in any case it is what the audience demands. Like the works it describes, this book is grimly entertaining; but could Augustine be right? --Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
About the Author:James B. Twitchell
is Alumni Professor of English at the University of Florida. Among his previous books are Dreadful Pleasures: An Anatomy of Modern Horror
and Forbidden Partners: The Incest Taboo in Modern Culture