Ordinary Life, Festival Days: Aesthetics In The Midwestern County Fair

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9781560984085: Ordinary Life, Festival Days: Aesthetics In The Midwestern County Fair
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A cultural and historical analysis of the famous rural institution, the county fair. Encompassing the year-long preparations, the premium book, the judging process, and the midway, Prosterman (American studies, U. of Maryland) argues that participants devise an aesthetic system that places their activities in the realm of art. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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Noting that the academic community recognizes few folk festivals in the United States, Prosterman (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore Cty.) provides an ethnographic study of county fairs in the Midwest, concentrating on Illinois. Using the methods of anthropological field work (direct ob-servation, interviews, and photographs), Prosterman demonstrates that county fairs are indeed expressions of folklore. After examining the history of agricultural fairs, their administrative structure, the qualifications of exhibit entries and of judges, and the place of fairs in rural community life, she concludes that county fairs may properly be viewed as festivals of art. As an anthropological study, the work succeeds; however, the writing is too ponderous for general readers. For academic libraries.
Wendy Knickerbocker, Rhode Island Coll. Lib., Providence
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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