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The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies (The Year's Work: Studies in Fan Culture and Cultural Theory) Paperback – November 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The essays are complex, evocative, approachable, and attentive to the film’s ironies and nuances. There is something here for the slacker as well as the scholar, for all Lebowskis, big and small, for film specialists, 90s fanatics, scholars of American studies, and the ever-growing assemblage of Lebowski cultists worldwide." ―Patrick O'Donnell, Michigan State University



"The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies is like a roller coaster ride. And, like the amusement park for children, there are no disappointments. Each one of the essays in the collection is original, unexpected in content and elegant in writing, skilled in the difficult art of intertextual references, intriguing conclusions and always theoretically founded....the authors of this enthusiastic, passionate and rigorous book question Lebowski with the same care with which we read the works of the most representative of contemporary intellectuals…" ―Sara Antonelli, L'Unità [translation], January 6, 2010



"More than a few of this book’s essay titles will make you groan and laugh out loud at the same time.... But just as often, the writing here is a bit like the film: amiable, laid-back and possessed of a wobbly Zen-acuity." ―New York Times



"What could be more ridiculous than the application of Marxist, feminist, and other Very Serious theories to the orgy of goofiness that constitutes the Coen brothers' film? But the thing is, after reading the book's 21 essays, you can't help yourself. You find yourself thinking, Dude, it really is all in there: the updated Western, the Arthurian romance (think pee-stained rug as Holy Grail), the homage to Raymond Chandler, the critique of petro-capitalism, the riff on Rip Van Winkle (bowling, duh!)." ―Indiana Alumni Magazine, March/April 2010



"Dudely interesting.... Comentale and Jaffe have mixed up a provocative, truly strange cocktail of cultural studies and cultural theory." ―Simon Critchley, the New School for Social Research, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers



"If you're a 'Big Lebowski' collector... you may want to acquire this... illuminating book." ―Washington Post, December 31, 2009



"Fantastic... not just a book to be passed around among film studies majors. It manages to be deeply smart and serious about its ideas without become stuffy and impenetrable. It’s also not one of those hokey knock-off, cash-in books that you see trying to jump on the coattails. If you’re holiday shopping, this should definitely make the cut." ―http://condalmo.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/dude-i-know/, Condalmo, 11/11/2009



"This book is the Dude's joint. The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies proves that academics can be very funny and even sometimes smart." ―Percival Everett, author of Erasure and American Desert



"Any self-respecting fan will want a copy for the living-room table." ―Indianapolis Monthly, December 2009

About the Author

Edward P. Comentale is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington. He is author of Modernism, Cultural Production, and the British Avant-Garde and editor (with Stephen Watt and Skip Willman) of Ian Fleming and James Bond (IUP, 2005) and (with Andrzej Gasiorek) of T.E. Hulme and the Question of Modernism.

Aaron Jaffe is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville. He is author of Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Year's Work: Studies in Fan Culture and Cultural Theory
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253221366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253221360
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By AsthmaBoy on November 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This latest, academically themed, book concerning the 1998 Coen film The Big Lebowski is the best I've seen since the BFI Film Classics book appeared in 2008 by Tyree and Walters. Based on the underground academic symposium coinciding with the 5th Annual Lebowski Fest in Louisville, KY, this book is full of the best essays and papers submitted at the event. Within the deep and casual thoughts from the authors, you'll find amazing references to both pop and historic culture along with many ins and outs of classical literature and contemporary films. Even though these are mostly just like, their opinions, man, I am sure these far out ideas and hypotheses will blow the jellies right off your feet. This is probably the best cultural study I've seen of a cult film. It's both entertaining to read, like the recent fan-books that have been released in the past few years, yet academically challenging at the same time. Comentale and Jaffe certainly do not disappoint with this long awaited compilation. Personally, I hope they hold another symposium since I was not able to attend the first.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Jameson on November 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must have for any true achiever. This book offers a fresh, intellectual insight to the characters, scenes, events of the movie. I don't know how many hours I've spent sipping caucasians, quoting lines and watching this flick, but as I read the "Years work" I found myself watching the film again with new perspectives and insight. It was fun to pick up on on the nuances that only academics could spend time illuminating. Im having a little Lebowski fest with my friends this thanksgiving, and I can't wait to blow their minds while I wax professorial. I highly recommend this book for people interested in seeing their favorite film in new context.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead Johnson VINE VOICE on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Over the past few years, many people who clearly don't understand the magic and wonder of the Big Lebowski have attempted to cash in on the films' success with lackluster books and special edition DVD's. This new book is the best and most worthy look into the phenomenon of the Big Lebowski because it is written by the people who have made the movie what it is: the fans.
If you're like me, you are absolutely sick of reading books and watching documentaries that point out the painfully obvious: "oh, I love the Big Lebowski! It's so darn funny!". "The Year's Work In Lebowski Studies" doesn't insult the intelligence of the fans, and prides itself in truly excavating the psyche of the film, and its dedication to finding a deeper meaning is a delight to read.
This is a thick book of many essays written by people who love films, and have some extremely unique and intelligent things to say about The Dude and his ways. I thought I had enough ideas about what the film was about, but these writers do an amazing job of pointing out themes and processes that I would never have noticed on my own. The essays will have you laughing, thinking, pondering, and ultimately watching the film again and again to help make their writings make more sense. This book does a special job of helping you rearrange your thoughts about the Big Lebowski, no matter how staunch in your views you are.
I would ignore every single piece of Lebowski literature and special edition DVD on the market, and do a beeline for this book. These writers LOVE the Big Lebowski, and their passion for the film will infect your soul and make you fall in love with this classic movie all over again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maude Lebowski on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Man, this is, like shut the *** up, Donnie, good. It shows how popular culture is the stuff for analysis and contemplation--the fact that the Big Lebowski has a sort of interesting content may well be why it is so popular (and not only because of its sort of slacker style). This collection has a nice mix of essays from almost every angle. And no, dude, they aren't like just mental self-stimulation. If you like this check out Bill Robertson's book.
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