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Some of the greatest thinkers and writers of our age meditate on play and the mysteries of inanimate life. This unusual literary collection contains writings from Baudelaire, Kleist, Rilke, Freud, Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Bruno Schulz, Elizabeth Bishop, Dennis Silk, and Marina Warner. The essays and reflections explore the seriousness of play and the mysteries of inanimate life - 'the unknown, spaces, dust, lost objects, and small animals that fill any house' - which have provoked many writers to take the side of these dead or non-human things, resulting in some of the most profound passages in literature. The collection is introduced and edited by Kenneth Gross.
On Dolls includes contributions from: Heinrich Von Kleist 'On the Marionette Theatre', Charles Baudelaire 'The Philosophy of Toys', Sigmund Freud 'The Uncanny', Rainer Maria Rilke 'On the Dolls of Lotte Pritzel', Frank Kafka 'The Cares of a Family Man', Bruno Schulz 'Tailor's Dummies', Walter Benjamin 'Old Toys: The Toy Exhibition at the Markisches Museum', Elizabeth Bishop, 'Cirque d'Hiver', Dennis Silk 'The Marionette Theatre', and Marina Warner 'On the Threshold: Sleeping Beauties'.
About the Author
Kenneth Gross is the author of The Dream of the Moving Statue (1992), Shakespeare's Noise (2001), and Shylock is Shakespeare (2006). His Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life (2011) was co-winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. A former fellow of the Guggenheim, Bellagio, and Bogliasco Foundations, and the American Academy in Berlin, he teaches English at the University of Rochester.