I’ve decided to release a free ebook (a pamphlet, really): TWO ESSAYS ON JERRY LEWIS. The book contains, unsurprisingly, two essays I have recently written on Jerry Lewis. The first essay is about his final self-directed feature film, Smorgasbord (retitled Cracking Up by the distributor). It appeared in the online film journal La furia umana, but it is currently unavailable due to website restructuring. The second essay, “The Jerry Lewis Assemblage,” takes off from a scene in Lewis’ film The Patsy in order to give a more general discussion of the mechanisms of his comedy (and how Lewis provides us with a synthesis of Henri Bergson and Karl Marx). This essay will be appearing in a book on Lewis edited by Toni D’Angela (the editor in chief of La furia umana). I am putting the two essays together here, in the hope that they will be read more widely. Consider it as part of my ongoing effort to help Jerry Lewis — a comedian and filmmaker more recognized in Europe than at home in America — fully gain the recognition he deserves as one of the great artists of world cinema.

The ebook is available for free download:

2 Responses to “New Ebook — TWO ESSAYS ON JERRY LEWIS”

  1. […] Steven Shaviro makes available in e-book format two essays he’s written on Jerry Lewis. The older of the two, a marvelous examination of the death-wish in Smorgasbord, originally appeared at La furia umana, but is apparently no longer on the website. The more recent may be too academic for the general reader, but if you’re looking for an examination of how Lewis’s comedy stylings in The Patsy form a Deleuzean assemblage that inverts Bergson’s “famous formulation” on the source of comedy, you won’t find any better than this. […]

  2. Burke Hilsabeck says:

    Really excited about this — thanks for sharing these!

Leave a Reply