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Best known to his fans for the flamboyant character Dame Edna Everage, the Australian actor and comedian Barry Humphries is also a painter, composer, and critically acclaimed author. Taking outrageousness to new heights by borrowing from the British Music Hall tradition and the Dada art movement, this brilliant jester of the absurd has made millions laugh by casting stones at everyone and everything, from the Queen of England to Dame Edna's own purple bouffant wig. A Portrait of the Artist as Australian offers the first critical assessment of Barry Humphries' entire career - as a daring post-modern deconstructionist on stage, film, and television, with sixty-seven stage shows, twenty-four film and thirty-four video appearances, thirty-four television series and seventy-one television appearances, and seventy-two audio recordings, but especially what he calls his 'second career' as author of twenty-nine books. With an oeuvre that includes novels, biographies, autobiographies, editions, compilations, comic books, poetry, dramatic monologues, sketches, film scripts, and several unclassified works, Humphries is a literary and dramatic artist of considerable significance. Arguing that Humphries is one of Australia's greatest writers, Paul Matthew St Pierre reveals a multi-faceted artist whose success is rooted in music halls, Dadaism, and his identity as an Australian.
McGill-Queen's University Press
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