Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream by Florian Keller

By Florian Keller

When Andy Kaufman succumbed by surprise to lung melanoma in 1984, a few of his fanatics believed that his loss of life used to be one more complex prank. Over the former decade, Kaufman had accomplished unbelievable status for his extraordinary antiperformances—lip-synching the effective Mouse subject track, examining The nice Gatsby aloud in its entirety while humans anticipated comedy, asking viewers individuals to the touch a boil on his neck—that at a loss for words, frustrated, or angry his viewers. 

In Andy Kaufman, Florian Keller explores Kaufman’s occupation inside a broader dialogue of the ideology of the yank Dream. Taking as his place to begin the 1999 biopic Man at the Moon, Keller brilliantly decodes Kaufman in a fashion that makes it attainable to understand his radical time table past avant-garde theories of transgression. As an entertainer, Kaufman submerged his id underneath a multiplicity of personas, enacting the yank trust that the self can and will be perpetually remade for the sake of happiness and good fortune. He did this so carefully and constantly, Keller argues, that he uncovered the interior contradictions of America’s ideology of self-invention. 

Keller posits that Kaufman provided a notably different—and possibly extra potent—logic of cultural feedback than did extra brazenly political comedians corresponding to Lenny Bruce. featuring shut readings of Kaufman’s most vital performances, Keller exhibits how Kaufman mounted—for the good thing about a frequently uncomprehending public—a sustained and noteworthy critique of America’s obsession with superstar and individualism. 

Florian Keller is a fellow on the Institute of Cultural reviews, tuition of paintings and layout, college of technologies and humanities, Zurich.

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