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Aesthetic Citizenship: Immigration and Theater in Twenty-First-Century Paris by Emine Fişek. 2017. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. 240 pp. $34.95 paper. $99.95 hardcover. ISBN: 9780810135673.
Dance Research Journal  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-08-01, DOI: 10.1017/s014976771900024x
Anna Kimmel

view toward Bolger’s agency within them. Without this information, though, Bolger’s narrative feels anchored by his work in The Wizard of Oz, around which much of the book’s explication revolves. In fairness, More than a Scarecrow takes on an understandably difficult task; it tries to honor the legacy of a known yet underappreciated performer, even as it tries to complicate that legacy. Van Leuven scores some notable successes on this count, especially by emphasizing the degree to which Bolger’s wife, Gwen, dictated the finer points of her husband’s career. Many of the comedian’s signature looks, gags, and roles only manifested because Gwen had the foresight—and creative ability—to discern their suitability within the broad arc of Bolger’s career (174). By decentralizing the concept of “creation,” the book models an exciting challenge to the stable notions of authorship still at work in much dance, theater, and performance studies scholarship. What’s more, such a project would pose a substantial confrontation to the historical erasures Van Leuven evokes in her justifications for the book. Overall, though, More than a Scarecrow remains committed to a “great-man” vision of performance history—a commitment which, ironically, diminishes the life of an eminent entertainer.