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The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies by Edward P. Comentale

The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies

Part of the The Year's Work Series


The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies by Edward P. Comentale

A massive underground sensation, The Big Lebowski has been hailed as the first cult film of the internet age. In this book, 21 fans and scholars address the film's influences-westerns, noir, grail legends, the 1960s, and Fluxus-and its historical connections to the first Iraq war, boomers, slackerdom, surrealism, college culture, and of course bowling. The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies contains neither arid analyses nor lectures for the late-night crowd, but new ways of thinking and writing about film culture.


This book is the Dude's joint. The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies proves that academics can be very funny and even sometimes smart. -Percival Everett, author of Erasure and American Desert Fantastic... not just a book to be passed around among film studies majors. It manages to be deeply smart and serious about its ideas without become stuffy and impenetrable. It's also not one of those hokey knock-off, cash-in books that you see trying to jump on the coattails. If you're holiday shopping, this should definitely make the cut. -http://condalmo.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/dude-i-know/, Condalmo, 11/11/2009 Dudely interesting.... Comentale and Jaffe have mixed up a provocative, truly strange cocktail of cultural studies and cultural theory. -Simon Critchley, the New School for Social Research, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers More than a few of this book's essay titles will make you groan and laugh out loud at the same time.... But just as often, the writing here is a bit like the film: amiable, laid-back and possessed of a wobbly Zen-acuity. -New York Times What could be more ridiculous than the application of Marxist, feminist, and other Very Serious theories to the orgy of goofiness that constitutes the Coen brothers

? But the thing is, after reading the book's 21 essays, you can't help yourself. You find yourself thinking, Dude, it really is all in there: the updated Western, the Arthurian romance (think pee-stained rug as Holy Grail), the homage to Raymond Chandler, the critique of petro-capitalism, the riff on Rip Van Winkle (bowling, duh!). -Indiana Alumni Magazine, March/April 2010 If you're a 'Big Lebowski

... you may want to acquire this... illuminating book. -Washington Post, December 31, 2009 Any self-respecting fan will want a copy for the living-room table. -Indianapolis Monthly, December 2009 The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies is like a roller coaster ride. And, like the amusement park for children, there are no disappointments. Each one of the essays in the collection is original, unexpected in content and elegant in writing, skilled in the difficult art of intertextual references, intriguing conclusions and always theoretically founded....the authors of this enthusiastic, passionate and rigorous book question Lebowski with the same care with which we read the works of the most representative of contemporary intellectuals... -Sara Antonelli, L'Unita [translation], January 6, 2010 The essays are complex, evocative, approachable, and attentive to the film's ironies and nuances. There is something here for the slacker as well as the scholar, for all Lebowskis, big and small, for film specialists, 90s fanatics, scholars of American studies, and the ever-growing assemblage of Lebowski cultists worldwide. -Patrick O'Donnell, Michigan State University

About the Author

Edward P. Comentale is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington. He is author of Modernism, Cultural Production, and the British Avant-Garde and editor (with Stephen Watt and Skip Willman) of Ian Fleming and James Bond (IUP, 2005) and (with Andrzej Gasiorek) of T.E. Hulme and the Question of Modernism. Aaron Jaffe is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville. He is author of Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th November 2009


Edward P. Comentale

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Indiana University Press


512 pages


Film theory & criticism



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