The Progress and Poetry of the Movies
Scarecrow Press

The Progress and Poetry of the Movies

  • Publish Date: 1995-08-28
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Myron Lounsbury

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In 1925, Vachel Lindsay wrote The Progress and Poetry of the Movies as a sequel to his pioneering Art of the Moving Picture (1915) and a reconsideration of a popular entertainment form that dominated the commercialized leisure of his fellow Americans. Seeking to counter his reputation as a much-traveled jazz poet, Lindsay offered his services as an arbiter of taste to such influential members of the Hollywood movie colony as Douglas Fairbanks and invited the ordinary spectator to imagine the 1920s photoplay as intimately linked to an emerging hieroglyphic civilization.

The present edition of The Progress and Poetry of the Movies, never published in Lindsay's lifetime, contributes to our understanding of the origins of contemporary film studies. The reproduction of family-album photographs and pen-and-ink drawings as well as publicity stills from The Thief of Bagdad, The Covered Wagon, Peter Pan, Monsieur Beaucaire, and Merton of the Movies spotlights the pleasure he derived from visual forms of communication. Lindsay's attempt to recapture public recognition failed, however, and he was unable to secure a stable position for himself in America after World War I.

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