About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Peepshows: A Visual History (Mint First ...
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: New
Edition: 1st Edition....
About this title
Book by Balzer, RichardFrom Booklist:
Peep show connotes cheap, coarse, illicit entertainment, but Balzer points out that a peep show is just "a closed, or semi-closed, box having at least one viewing hole." Originally a medium of itinerant exhibitors, the peep show was popular at fairs and on city streets, where vendors would sing and "sound" musical instruments (as opposed to playing music on them) to attract and amuse a crowd waiting patiently for turns to pay for a glimpse through the viewing hole. A glimpse of what? Well, the menu of attractions was limited only by proprietor creativity. Risqueattractions existed, but in their heyday peep shows featured panoramic displays and artistic and fantastic treatments for general audiences--family entertainment, that is. Many displays were simple dioramas with lighting effects provided by candles or light flaps. More elaborate peep shows incorporated hand-cranked or hook-and-string mechanisms that allowed display of multiple and moving images. Beautifully and copiously illustrated, well documented, Balzer's presentation of a nearly forgotten popular entertainment is excellent history, excellent amusement. Mike Tribby
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