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How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist…
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How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic (original: 1971; edição: 2020)

de Ariel Dorfman (Autor), Armand Mattelart (Autor)

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238588,702 (3.54)3
" 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 Disney--curiously parentless, marginalized, always short of cash--Ariel 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 languages--and is now available once again, together with a new introduction by Ariel Dorfman.… (mais)
Membro:R.Earles
Título:How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic
Autores:Ariel Dorfman (Autor)
Outros autores:Armand Mattelart (Autor)
Informação:Pluto Press (2019), 208 pages
Coleções:Academic Library (non-fiction), Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic de Ariel Dorfman (1971)

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Publicado en 1972, durante el gobierno de Allende en Chile, supone una obra clave en la literatura política de esa década. Descrito por sus autores como un “manual de desconolización”, Para leer al pato Donald es un análisis sobre la literatura de masas publicada por Walt Disney en Latinoamérica. El libro muestra de qué manera las historietas del pato Donald inducen en los niños una clara ideología de clase dominante en la que se enseña que no se puede luchar contra el orden establecido. En las aventuras protagonizadas por el Tío Rico, Donald y sus sobrinitos todo intercambio humano toma la forma mercantil y la solidaridad entre iguales desaparece, solo existe la competencia. En la incesante y codiciosa búsqueda de oro, a menudo se encuentran con pueblos salvajes y primitivos, los cuales son manipulados por los patos para hacerse con su tesoro, y todos tan felices. El saqueo imperialista y la sumisión colonial no aparecen en su carácter como tales. El consumismo o el menosprecio machista son algunos de los valores que pululan por el mundo Disney, y la violencia simbólica que encontramos en sus viñetas conducen a interpretaciones ideológicas muy concretas. ( )
  MigueLoza | Sep 26, 2021 |
"Disney expulsa lo productivo y lo histórico de su mundo, tal como el imperialismo ha prohibido lo productivo y lo histórico en el mundo del subdesarrollo. Disney construye su fantasía imitando subconscientemente el modo en que el sistema capitalista mundial construyó la realidad y tal como desea seguir armándola". ( )
  JoseContrerasC | Oct 16, 2020 |
In his introduction to the Fourth Edition of How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic, Ariel Dorfman explains the continued importance of he and Armand Mattelart’s original analysis from 1971, “Only an America that bathes over and over in this false innocence, this myth of exceptionalism and natural God-given goodness destined to rule the earth, could have produced a Trump victory and only a recognition of how that innocence is malevolent and blinding can address the causes of that triumph as well as Trump’s amazing hold upon those who adhere to his policies, personality and philosophy (if I dare use the latter term in proximity of such an unlettered and unthoughtful member of our species)” (pg. x). Summarizing the work, translator David Kunzle writes, “The value of their work lies in the light it throws not so much upon a particular group of comics, or even a particular cultural entrepreneur, but on the way in which capitalist and imperialist values are supported by its culture. And the very simplicity of the comic has enabled the authors to make simply visible a very complicated process” (pg. 2). Kunzle further explains, “The system of domination which the U.S. culture imposes so disastrously abroad, also has deleterious effects at home, not least among those who work for Disney, that is, those who produce his ideology. The circumstances in which Disney products are made ensure that his employees reproduce in their lives and work relations the same system of exploitation to which they, as well as the consumer, are subject” (pg. 5).

Dorfman and Mattelart address the possible opposition to their analysis, writing, “There is the implication that politics cannot enter into areas of ‘pure entertainment,’ especially those designed for children of tender years” (pg. 28). They outline the nature of the children’s culture industry, writing, “Adults create for themselves a childhood embodying their own angelical aspirations, which offer consolation, hope, and a guarantee of a ‘better,’ but unchanging, future. This ‘new reality,’ this autonomous realm of magic, is artfully isolated from the reality of the everyday. Adult values are projected onto the child, as if childhood was a special domain where these values could be protected uncritically” (pg. 31). Further, “Mass culture has opened up a whole range of new issues. While it certainly has had a leveling effect and has exposed a wider audience to a broader range of themes, it has simultaneously generated a cultural elite which has cut itself off more and more from the masses” (pg. 32).

Discussing how childhood becomes the site for imperialism, Dorfman and Mattelart write, “The comics, elaborated by and for the narcissistic parent, adopt a view of the child-reader which is the same as their view of the inferior Third World adult. If this be so, our noble savages differs from the other children in that he is not a carbon copy aggregate of paternal, adult values” (pg. 55). Dordman and Mattelart continue, “When something is said about the child/noble savage, it is really the Third World one is thinking about. The hegemony which we have detected between the child-adults who arrive with their civilization and technology, and the child-noble savages who accept this alien authority and surrender their riches, stands revealed as an exact replica of the relations between metropolis and satellite, between empire and colony, between master and slave” (pg. 60). They argue that Disney reinforces these ideas through the oversimplification of cartoon and caricature art, writing, “Disney does not invent these caricatures, he only exploits them to the utmost. By forcing all peoples of the world into a vision of the dominant (national and international) classes, he gives this vision coherency and justifies the social system on which it is based. These clichés are also used by the mass culture media to dilute the realities common to these people” (pgs. 70-71).

Invoking Marxist theory, Dorfman and Mattelart write, “Disney, throughout his comics, implies that capitalist wealth originated under the same circumstances as he makes it appear in his comics. It was always the ideas of the bourgeoisie which gave them the advantage in the race for success, and nothing else” (pg. 96). Within this system, the ideas of the bourgeoisie underpin everything in mass media. As Dorfman and Mattelart write, “Entertainment, as it is understood by the capitalist mass culture, tries to reconcile everything – work with leisure, the commonplace with the imaginary, the social with the extrasocial, body with soul, production with consumption, city with countryside – while veiling the contradictions arising from their interrelationships. All the conflicts of the real world, the nerve centers of bourgeois society, are purified in the imagination in order to be absorbed and co-opted into the world of entertainment” (pg. 108). They argue that Disney’s work flattens history and culture, serving imperialism by obliterating subaltern cultures by replacing the indigenous cultural touchstones they might normally draw upon as sites of resistance to imperialism.

Dorfman and Mattelart conclude, “All the relationships in the Disney world are compulsively consumerist; commodities in the marketplace of objects and ideas. The magazine is part of this situation. The Disney industrial empire itself arose to service a society demanding entertainment; it is part of an entertainment network whose business it is to feed leisure with more leisure disguised as fantasy” (pg. 143). Finally, Dorfman and Mattelart write, “Just why is Disney such a threat? The primary reason is that his products, necessitated and facilitated by a huge industrial capitalist empire are imported together with so many other consumer objects into the dependent country, which is dependent precisely because it depends on commodities arising economically and intellectually in the power center’s totally alien (foreign) conditions” (pg. 145). Their analysis was particularly cutting on the eve of U.S. intervention in Chile and remains all the more so in the twenty-first century as the Disney empire has grown and further dominates media throughout the world. Further, the role How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic played in defining the place of fair use in educational and scholarly should not be forgotten as Disney continues to work to extend copyright provisions to prevent characters and work from entering the public domain. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Aug 23, 2020 |
It is usually disappointing to read a book that was formerly banned. The sensitivities of the then authorities cause unrestrained headscratching today. Not so with How to Read Donald Duck, which was confiscated on its way into the USA in 1975, on the pretext of copyright infringement and unfair use. A real leftist attack, it is vibrant, wide-ranging and damning. Maybe too much. But it’s crystal clear why it was banned.

When I was growing up, I read and collected Superman comics. Unbeknownst to me, Donald Duck was at that the same time making the world safe for imperialism, racism, sexism and capitalism. In 1970 Chile, a newly elected leftist government allowed the left to express itself. Two of those voices, Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattleart used the opportunity to decode, decrypt and expose the Disney invasion of Chilean society and culture throughout the 1960s. It was translated into 12 languages and circulated globally. Except in the USA. Publishers were afraid – of Walt Disney. But, as the book shows, so were his own employees.

I find a lot of Dorfman and Mattelart’s criticism unfair. They make much of how Disney characters are always out of worldly, societal context. They have no ancestors, friends or neighbors. Everything is always available, but nothing is ever manufactured. There are no laborers. They never age or progress in their lives. All true, but also true of the whole genre. Cartoon characters never age. It’s their advantage over humans. Archie will always be a teenager, even as he approaches 100. So while they studied a substantial corpus of one hundred Disney comics for their critique, they did not also examine any other comics. It shows.

As in all cartoons, the characters are stereotyped for easy recognition. So Donald Duck is always scrambling for cash (though never the rent), Mickey Mouse, ever the altruist, helps anyone with anything. Goofy is a doofus, and so on. This is not a weakness but a requirement, as readers don’t want to be surprised by some new aspect of a character’s persona. Characters need to be familiar, dependable and easy to understand. Disney gets no points docked for this.

They also accuse Disney of removing all references to history, then describe comics on ancient Rome and other eras. They accuse Walt Disney of having a romantic, nostalgic love of rural American life over city life, but the comics demonstrate the opportunities there over rural areas. So the criticism is not a lock on truth.

What is possibly surprising is the near total lack of females in Disney comics. Donald Duck is the uncle of Huey, Dewey and Louie, and the nephew of Scrooge McDuck. Three generations of males, without ever breathing mention of a mother, sister or wife. What females that appear are always minor in their personas as well as in the stories. Goofy and Pluto are far important than Minnie, every time.

Disney’s putdowns of other nationalities gets a little sickening. It’s not enough that they are infantile (“The world of Disney is a nineteenth century orphanage “). The noble savage, readily and gladly giving up his gold to Americans because it has no value to his society is a bit much. Especially when he trades it for soap bubble powder that makes his compatriots smile. Everyone else in the world is a caricature of a human, according to Disney. A joke of a person. His ducks are more human than the foreign humans, because of the great system they belong to – capitalism.

The authors say 75% of the sample was stories involving the search for gold, and the other 25% were about competing for fame and wealth in the big city. Disney is all about the money. Life is all about the money for Disney. That’s the message he focused on. It was all about bringing back the gold. The book demonstrates it clearly and dramatically with actual images from the comic books. They prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Disney was promoting capitalism and imperialism to the rest of the world, in the guise of family-friendly comic books. They read like alt right propaganda, as much as the book reads like left wing propaganda. In other words, Dorfman and Mattelart are correct,

There is an interminable intro, not from the authors but from the translator, which adds much heat but little light. A lot of leftist 1970s jargon revealing essentially nothing, but delaying access to the Disney defrocking. It is dense and difficult, and skipping it is beneficial.

For the victim/readers of Disney comics, in Chile and elsewhere, it was all galling, insulting and revolting: “Reading Disney is like having one’s own exploited condition rammed with honey down one’s throat.” It was Walt Disney expressing that everywhere else is a “sh—hole country” while glorifying the unlimited opportunities in an aggressive liberal capitalist society. He was making America great at the expense of everyone else.

Even Superman was less blatant.

David Wineberg

FOR IMAGES, SEE THIS REVIEW AT https://medium.com/the-straight-dope/donald-duck-as-running-dog-lackey-7418029c7... ( )
6 vote DavidWineberg | Jul 12, 2018 |
Este libro tiene una análisis muy interesante acerca de todas aquellas características y situaciones que se vivieron en Estados Unidos durante la época de la guerra. Además, se muestra, mediante ejemplos de la caricatura del pato Donald, como con esta caricatura en Estado Unidos reforzaban en patriotismo y la idea de que el capitalismo es la mejor corriente económica para ganar dinero y ser feliz. ( )
  anaramicarrillo | Feb 7, 2013 |
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Dorfman, Arielautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Mattelart, Armandautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kunzle, DavidTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lawrence, John SheltonAppendixautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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" 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 Disney--curiously parentless, marginalized, always short of cash--Ariel 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 languages--and is now available once again, together with a new introduction by Ariel Dorfman.

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