The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

Wayne Koestenbaum


The Anatomy of Harpo Marx is a luxuriant, distinct play-by-play account of Harpo Marx’s actual routine as captured on monitor. Wayne Koestenbaum courses us throughout the 13 Marx Brothers motion pictures, from The Cocoanuts in 1929 to Love Happy in 1950, to target Harpo’s leader and but heretofore unexplored attribute—his profound and contradictory corporeality. Koestenbaum celebrates the surprising diversity of Harpo’s body—its kinks, sexual multiplicities, somnolence, Jewishness, “cute” pathos, and extra. In a virtuosic functionality, Koestenbaum’s textual content strikes gracefully from insightful research to cultural critique to autobiographical musing, and offers Harpo with a bunch of wierd bedfellows, together with Walter Benjamin and Barbra Streisand.

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