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The Poetics of Slumberland

Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit

Scott Bukatman


List Price: 34.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/26/2012)


In The Poetics of Slumberland, Scott Bukatman celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman begins with Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland to explore how and why the emerging media of comics and cartoons brilliantly captured a playful, rebellious energy characterized by hyperbolic emotion, physicality, and imagination. The book broadens to consider similar “animated” behaviors in seemingly disparate media—films about Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh; the musical My Fair Lady and the story of Frankenstein; the slapstick comedies of Jerry Lewis; and contemporary comic superheroes—drawing them all together as the purveyors of embodied utopias of disorder.

Praise For The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit

“Delightfully Chestertonian. . . . Bukatman shows the marvelous animated poetics of visual media. . . . Essential.”

— T. Lindvall, Virginia Wesleyan College

University of California Press, 9780520265721, 286pp.

Publication Date: March 26, 2012

About the Author

Scott Bukatman is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. He is the author of many books, including Terminal Identity and, most recently, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the Twentieth Century.