Download The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert and Sullivan's The by Josephine Lee PDF

By Josephine Lee

Long prior to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, lengthy prior to Barthes explicated his empire of indicators, even ahead of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado presented its personal specific model of Japan. Set in a fictional city known as Titipu and populated via characters named Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo, and Pooh-Bah, the opera has remained well known seeing that its superior in 1885.
Tracing the historical past of The Mikado’s performances from Victorian instances to the current, Josephine Lee finds the continued viability of the play’s unusually complicated racial dynamics as they've been tailored to varied instances and settings. Lee connects yellowface functionality to blackface minstrelsy, displaying how productions of the 1938–39 Swing Mikado and Hot Mikado, between others, have been used to advertise African American racial uplift. She additionally appears at a number of latest productions and diversifications, together with Mike Leigh’s movie Topsy-Turvy and performances of The Mikado in Japan, to mirror on anxieties approximately race as they're articulated via new visions of the city of Titipu.
The Mikado creates racial fantasies, attracts viewers participants into them, and deftly weaves them into cultural reminiscence. For numerous those who had by no means been to Japan, The Mikado served because the foundation for imagining what “Japanese” was.

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