First book down in the Dell'Arte series. This book is a graphic novel and reads like a movie...if that makes any sense. The book is quite literally a history book, but in comic book fashion. What is a better way to tell the story of clowns than through tongue-in-cheek pictures and quirky text? It begins by talking about Shamans and the function of theatre as a religious tool, tricksters, animal tricksters and then to the different clowns from around the world. And when I say around the world, I mean AROUND THE WHOLE WORLD. It touches on Native American clowns, Hope and Zuni clowns, Tibet, Chinese, Indian, American, European, Commedia, Greek, and Roman...just to name a few. It is really awesome that he touches on both Western and Non-Western influences. More often than not, we are only exposed to Western/European influences in our studies. It is SO NICE to get a more well rounded history....recognition that there is more out there than the white-male centered world. Perhaps it is a reflection of the universality of the clown more so than the direction the author wanted to take.
.....AND NOW...some notable quotes and facts from The History of Clowns for Beginners:
*The clown must go against order and find solutions in chaos.
*The clown had no power other than his wit of sometimes lack thereof.
*BALANCE-Need a goof off set the uptight moral order.
* The trickster was definitely the fellow between the intermediary twixt ape and angel. He was a low unto himself a law he had great difficulty keeping.
*Everything can be undone, the trickster would have it no other way.
*Fool wanted to live a harmonic whole made up of equal parts of chaos-order-unafraid of what madness lurks in every every soul.
*Human Tricksters love to assume shapes convincing the heavens of their shining glory.
* Trickster is in every mind, every heart...an integral part of each and every character.
*Folly: the only one who can delight both God and man. When she speaks, we listen and may, for a moment forget ourselves.
*There are two kinds of clowns Natural Fool's and Artificial Fool's (those who could pass as normal and might only assume folly at the appropriate or inappropriate time.
*Ecclesiastes; 1:15 - The number of fools is infinite - and you know you're in that number when the fools go rushing in crushing, that is, where angels fear to tread.
*CLOWNS ARE AS NECESSARY TO THE THEATRE AS THE AUDIENCE - INTEGRAL PART AS LONG AS IT HAS EXISTED...A LINK BETWEEN SACRED AND MUNDANE.
* "In the beginning was the fool..and in the end, as well" - Khelmer Khokem
That is it! Btw...........................for my senior project, I, along with two of my close friends are developing a clown show. More details to come as we develop it further. LOTS OF LOVE!