“ A literary grandmaster.” Time
First published in 1971 in Chile, where the entire third edition was dumped into the ocean by the Chilean Navy and bonfires were held to destroy earlier editions, How to Read Donald Duck reveals the imperialist, capitalist ideology at work in our most beloved cartoons.
Focusing on the hapless mice and ducks of Disneycuriously parentless, marginalized, always short of cashAriel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart dissect the narratives of dependency and social aspiration that define the Disney corpus. Disney recognized the challenge and, when the book was translated and imported into the United States in 1975, managed to have all 4,000 copies impounded. Ultimately, 1,500 copies of the book were allowed into the country, the rest of the shipment was blocked, and until now no American publisher has re-released the book, which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. (The original English language edition is now a collector’s item, selling for up to $500 on Amazon.)
A devastating indictment of a media giant, a document of twentieth-century political upheaval, and a reminder of the dark potential of pop culture, How to Read Donald Duck was published in seventeen languagesand is now available once again, together with a new introduction by Ariel Dorfman.
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About the Author
Born in Argentina in 1942, ARIEL DORFMAN spent ten years as a child in New York, until his family was forced out of the United States by the persecution of McCarthy. The Dorfmans ended up in Chile, where Ariel lived through the Allende revolution and the subsequent resistance inside Chile. Accompanied by his wife Angélica, to whom he has been married for over fifty years, he wandered the globe as an exile, finally settling down in the United States, where he is now Walter Hines Emeritus Professor of Literature at Duke University, though he keeps a house in Chile. Dorfman’s acclaimed work covers almost every genre available (plays, novels, short stories, fiction, essays, journalism, opinion pieces, memoirs, screenplays). In all them, he has won major awards, leading to accolades from Time (“a literary grandmaster”), Newsweek (“one of the greatest novelists coming out of Latin America”), the Washington Post (“a world novelist of the first order”) and the New York Times (“he has written movingly and often brilliantly of the cultural dislocations and political fractures of his dual heritage”).
ARMAND MATTELART (born January 8, 1936) is a Belgian sociologist and is well-known as a Leftist French scholar. His work deals with media, culture and communication, especially in their historical and international dimensions.
Table of Contents
Preface to the English Edition
Introduction to the English Edition
Apology for Duckology
Introduction: Instructions on How to Become a General in the Disneyland Club
Conclusion: Power to Donald Duck?