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Blue Ribbons and Burlesque: A Book of Country Fairs

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9780881504125: Blue Ribbons and Burlesque: A Book of Country Fairs
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Blue Ribbons and Burlesque presents more than 200 arresting photographs taken nearly 30 years ago and an engaging text that blends memories with information on nearly every aspect of the world of American country fairs.

With the same keen observation and lyrical prose, Charles Fish has turned to the country fairs of his youth. Country fairs still draw crowds, and readers will recognize many of the features so strikingly captured in this book. But times have changed. "Looming larger for the young than they do today," Fish writes, "the fairs as I knew them are emblematic of a passing way of life. They were rich with images and wonders at a time when entertainment was more restrained, the panorama of the wide world less brutally revealed. They presented forms of excellence growing out of our daily life―fine cattle, fast horses, fine machines―but they also offered provocative glimpses of forms of pleasure and the grotesque usually veiled in our little village." While never ceasing to entertain and inform, Blue Ribbons and Burlesque also raises questions about nature and nurture, theatrical illusion, the pursuit of excellence, and the power of novelty and the erotic.

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About the Author:

Charles Fish teaches English at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Eleanor, live in Dummerston, Vermont.

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