“Perhaps because ‘dry’ comedy is so much more rare than ‘dry’ wit, there are those people who never much cared for Keaton. Those who do cannot care mildly.”
~ James Agee, LIFE (September 5, 1949)
Over the past couple of years I’ve referred again and again to Agee’s September 5, 1949 LIFE article, “Comedy’s Greatest Era” as I’ve researched - well – comedy’s greatest era. I’ve learned more from this beautifully-written, deeply thought-out musing on silent film comedy than from just about any other source. Agee’s writing is brilliant, poetic, sympathetic, and a delight to read.
Until now I’ve been working from an un-illustrated .pdf file, now marked up and underlined and scribbled-upon nearly beyond recognition. All along I’ve harboured a desire to read it in its original format, photographs and adverts and all. Finally it occurred to me to have a look at an on-line auction site, and GUESS WHAT!!!
Today arrived by post my original copy:
Dear Reader will excuse the nerdy thrill.