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The presidency of Donald J. Trump, has had a considerable impacts on American politics and society. One of these was his altering of the comedic mood in America, taking comedy away from many of its traditions. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, as comedians on the liberal side of politics turned their efforts to ridiculing Trump’s buffoonish persona, while on the conservative side, a Trump-supportive group of comedians mocked those very comedians who opposed Trump. Trump himself emerged as a comedian, performing his dark, caustic, comical routines with consummate skill at his rallies. If comedy is a pulse for a country, then it is legitimate to ask if that pulse still beating, even after Trump lost reelection in 2020. This book will address this question, examining how Trump’s presidency interrupted the historical flow of American comedic traditions, and how it spread a dark mood throughout American society.
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This groundbreaking collection of essays tells the surprising story of how the American Western has shaped world literature, fueling provocative novels and reflections about national identity, settler colonialism, and violence. Containing nineteen chapters spanning Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand, as well as a guiding, critical introduction, this book opens an exciting new chapter in the study of popular culture, literature, and globalization. Through this international lens, the literary Western casts off the categories of juvenilia and formula to come into focus as a vital and creative statement about identity, power, and history.

Contributors are: Zbigniew Białas, Manuela Borzone, Flavia Brizio-Skov, Alex Calder, Neil Campbell, Christopher Conway, Samir Dayal, Joel Deshaye, Johannes Fehrle, MaryEllen Higgins, Emily Hind, Shelly Jarenski, Rachel Leket-Mor, Warren Motte, Andrew Nette, Marek Paryż, David Rio, Steffen Wöll, and Sergei Zhuk
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Abstract

The 45th American president, Donald J. Trump, had a considerable impact on the comedic mood in America during his presidential tenure, drastically altering its style and historical flow. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, dividing it, like the country, into two camps—a Trump-supportive comedy emerged and a powerful anti-Trump comedy. Significantly, Trump himself adopted his own form of dark, caustic, comedy with consummate skill at his myriad rallies. No other president had ever come close to performing a clownish act in the same way. This book looks at Trump’s effect on American comedy, juxtaposing comedic traditions in America to the antics of Trump himself. Examining how comedy had evolved during his presidency might be able to shed some light on how and why American society has split into political tribes, and perhaps why there is no longer any common frame of reference for enjoying comedy. Trump himself was a consummate entertainer, who used his own style of destructive dark humor to lambast opponents, giving a comedic voice to hatred. He was a blend of commedia dell’arte personage, Archie Bunker redux, and P. T. Barnum hustler, who understood the power of humor to sway minds. This made him largely impervious to the comedic weapons being used against him. He fought comedy with comedy, leaving America in shambles. This book aims to deconstruct how Trump affected the American psyche by altering how comedy came to perceived and practiced.

In: Comedic Nightmare
In: The Western in the Global Literary Imagination
In: The Western in the Global Literary Imagination
In: The Western in the Global Literary Imagination
In: The Western in the Global Literary Imagination
In: The Western in the Global Literary Imagination