Pursuits of Happiness

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 067473906X
Release Date: 1981
Genre: Performing Arts

Looks at seven classic romantic comedies of the thirties and forties, and compares what each film expresses about marriage, interdependence, equality, and sexual roles

Cities of Words

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674971271
Release Date: 2005-10-31
Genre: Philosophy

This book--which presents a course of lectures Cavell presented several times toward the end of his teaching career at Harvard--links masterpieces of moral philosophy and classic Hollywood comedies to fashion a new way of looking at our lives and learning to live with ourselves.

Themes out of School

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226075150
Release Date: 2013-06-07
Genre: Philosophy

In the first essay of this book, Stanley Cavell characterizes philosophy as a "willingness to think not about something other than what ordinary human beings think about, but rather to learn to think undistractedly about things that ordinary human beings cannot help thinking about, or anyway cannot help having occur to them, sometimes in fantasy, sometimes as a flash across a landscape." Fantasies of film and television and literature, flashes across the landscape of literary theory, philosophical discourse, and French historiography give Cavell his starting points in these twelve essays. Here is philosophy in and out of "school," understood as a discipline in itself or thought through the works of Shakespeare, Molière, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Brecht, Makavejev, Bergman, Hitchcock, Astaire, and Keaton.

Cavell on Film

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791464326
Release Date: 2005-04-21
Genre: Performing Arts

Stanley Cavell's most important writings on cinema, collected together for the first time in one volume.

Fast talking Dames

Author: Maria DiBattista
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300099037
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Performing Arts

Witty and brash, the fast-talking dames in film comedies of the 1930s and 1940s offered moviegoers a new, independent version of American womanhood. In this volume, Maria DiBattista paints portraits of the grandest fast-talking dames of the era, including Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunne and Barbara Stanwyck, and discusses what their films had to say about men, happiness and the power of speech.

Philosophy the Day After Tomorrow

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674022327
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Philosophy

Seeking for philosophy the same spirit and assurance conveyed by an artist like Fred Astaire, Cavell presents essays that explore the meaning of grace and gesture in film and on stage, in language and in life. The theme of aesthetic judgment, viewed in the light of "passionate utterance," is everywhere evident in Cavell's effort to provoke a renaissance in American thought. Critical to such a rebirth is a recognition of the centrality of the "ordinary" to American life.

Contesting Tears

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226098141
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Performing Arts

What is marriage? Can a relationship dedicated to equality, friendship, and mutual education flower in an atmosphere of romance? What are the paths between loving another and knowing another? Stanley Cavell identified a genre of classic American films that engaged these questions in his study of comedies of remarriage, Pursuits of Happiness. With Contesting Tears, Cavell demonstrates that a contrasting genre, which he calls "the melodrama of the unknown woman," shares a surprising number and weave of concerns with those comedies. Cavell provides close readings of four melodramas he finds definitive of the genre: Letter from an Unknown Woman, Gaslight, Now Voyager, and Stella Dallas. The women in these melodramas, like the women in the comedies, demand equality, shared education, and transfiguration, exemplifying for Cavell a moral perfectionism he identifies as Emersonian. But unlike the comedies, which portray a quest for a shared existence of expressiveness and joy, the melodramas trace instead the woman's recognition that in this quest she is isolated. Part of the melodrama concerns the various ways the men in the films (and the audiences of the films) interpret and desire to force the woman's consequent inaccessibility. "Film is an interest of mine," Stanley Cavell has written, "or say a love, not separate from my interest in, or love of, philosophy." In Contesting Tears Cavell once again brilliantly unites his two loves, using detailed and perceptive musings on melodrama to reflect on philosophical problems of skepticism, psychoanalysis, and perfectionism. As he shows, the fascination and intelligence of such great stars as Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck illuminate, as they are illuminated by, the topics and events of these beloved and enduring films.

Little Did I Know

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804775087
Release Date: 2010-07-23
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

An autobiography in the form of a philosophical diary, Little Did I Know's underlying motive is to describe the events of a life that produced the kind of writing associated with Stanley Cavell's name. Cavell recounts his journey from early childhood in Atlanta, Georgia, through musical studies at UC Berkeley and Julliard, his subsequent veering off into philosophy at UCLA, his Ph.D. studies at Harvard, and his half century of teaching. Influential people from various fields figure prominently or in passing over the course of this memoir. J.L. Austin, Ernest Bloch, Roger Sessions, Thomas Kuhn, Robert Lowell, Rogers Albritton, Seymour Shifrin, John Rawls, Bernard Williams, W. V. O. Quine, and Jacques Derrida are no longer with us; but Cavell also pays homage to the living: Michael Fried, John Harbison, Rose Mary Harbison, Kurt Fischer, Milton Babbitt, Thompson Clarke, John Hollander, Hilary Putnam, Sandra Laugier, Belle Randall, and Terrence Malick. The drift of his narrative also registers the decisiveness of the relatively unknown and the purely accidental. Cavell's life has produced a trail of some eighteen published books that range from treatments of individual writers like Wittgenstein, Austin, Emerson, Thoreau, Heidegger, Shakespeare, and Beckett to studies in aesthetics, epistemology, moral and political philosophy, cinema, opera, and religion.

Hollywood Bedlam

Author: William K. Everson
Publisher: Citadel Press
ISBN: 0806515341
Release Date: 1994
Genre: Performing Arts


Emerson s Transcendental Etudes

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804745439
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Literary Criticism

This book is Stanley Cavell’s definitive expression on Emerson. Over the past thirty years, Cavell has demonstrated that he is the most emphatic and provocative philosophical critic of Emerson that America has yet known. The sustained effort of that labor is drawn together here for the first time into a single volume, which also contains two previously unpublished essays and an introduction by Cavell that reflects on this book and the history of its emergence. Students and scholars working in philosophy, literature, American studies, history, film studies, and political theory can now more easily access Cavell’s luminous and enduring work on Emerson. Such engagement should be further complemented by extensive indices and annotations. If we are still in doubt whether America has expressed itself philosophically, there is perhaps no better space for inquiry than reading Cavell reading Emerson.

Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges

Author: James Harvey
Publisher: Da Capo
ISBN: 0306808323
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Performing Arts

This study of the romantic comedies of the 1930s and 1940s examines individual films, the director's oeuvre, and the performers most closely associated with romantic comedy

Must We Mean What We Say

Author: Stanley Cavell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316425367
Release Date: 2015-10-06
Genre: Philosophy

In this classic collection of wide-ranging and interdisciplinary essays, Stanley Cavell explores a remarkably broad range of philosophical issues from politics and ethics to the arts and philosophy. The essays explore issues as diverse as the opposing approaches of 'analytic' and 'Continental' philosophy, modernism, Wittgenstein, abstract expressionism and Schoenberg, Shakespeare on human needs, the difficulties of authorship, Kierkegaard and post-Enlightenment religion. Presented in a fresh twenty-first century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface, written by Stephen Mulhall, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is now available for a new generation of readers.

Romantic vs Screwball Comedy

Author: Wes D. Gehring
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9781461670919
Release Date: 2002-10-16
Genre: Performing Arts

Including over 60 titles each of romantic and screwball comedy dating from the 1930's to the present, this research tool not only demonstrates how screwball and romantic comedy are two distinct genres, but also highlights pivotal social and artistic changes which impacted both genres. Includes 16 black and white movie stills, countless quotations from selected films, an annotated bibliography, and a two-part filmography. Not only an informative resource for film students and scholars, but also an interesting read for film buffs.

Must We Kill the Thing We Love

Author: William Rothman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231537308
Release Date: 2014-03-25
Genre: Performing Arts

William Rothman argues that the driving force of Hitchcock's work was his struggle to reconcile the dark vision of his favorite Oscar Wilde quote, "Each man kills the thing he loves," with the quintessentially American philosophy, articulated in Emerson's writings, that gave classical Hollywood movies of the New Deal era their extraordinary combination of popularity and artistic seriousness. A Hitchcock thriller could be a comedy of remarriage or a melodrama of an unknown woman, both Emersonian genres, except for the murderous villain and godlike author, Hitchcock, who pulls the villain's strings—and ours. Because Hitchcock believed that the camera has a murderous aspect, the question "What if anything justifies killing?," which every Hitchcock film engages, was for him a disturbing question about his own art. Tracing the trajectory of Hitchcock's career, Rothman discerns a progression in the films' meditations on murder and artistic creation. This progression culminates in Marnie (1964), Hitchcock's most controversial film, in which Hitchcock overcame his ambivalence and fully embraced the Emersonian worldview he had always also resisted. Reading key Emerson passages with the degree of attention he accords to Hitchcock sequences, Rothman discovers surprising affinities between Hitchcock's way of thinking cinematically and the philosophical way of thinking Emerson's essays exemplify. He finds that the terms in which Emerson thought about reality, about our "flux of moods," about what it is within us that never changes, about freedom, about America, about reading, about writing, and about thinking are remarkably pertinent to our experience of films and to thinking and writing about them. He also reflects on the implications of this discovery, not only for Hitchcock scholarship but also for film criticism in general.

The Art of the Screwball Comedy

Author: Doris Milberg
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 9780786467815
Release Date: 2013-03-12
Genre: Performing Arts

"Part One of this exploration of screwball comedies and their later offspring begins midcentury discussing the careers and love of popular super stars. Writers and directors are given their due. Part Two, takes an in depth look at the films, from the genre's inception and the stars that appear in them, ending with some thoughts about the future"--