A Comedian Sees the World (Hardcover)
Film star Charlie Chaplin spent February 1931 through June 1932 touring Europe, during which time he wrote a travel memoir entitled “A Comedian Sees the World.” This memoir was published as a set of five articles in Women’s Home Companion from September 1933 to January 1934 but until now had never been published as a book in the U.S. In presenting the first edition of Chaplin’s full memoir, Lisa Stein Haven provides her own introduction and notes to supplement Chaplin’s writing and enhance the narrative.Haven’s research revealed that “A Comedian Sees the World” may very well have been Chaplin’s first published composition, and that it was definitely the beginning of his writing career. It also marked a transition into becoming more vocally political for Chaplin, as his subsequent writings and films started to take on more noticeably political stances following his European tour.During his tour, Chaplin spent time with numerous politicians, celebrities, and world leaders, ranging from Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein and many others, all of whom inspired his next feature films, Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and A King in New York (1957). His excellent depiction of his experiences, coupled with Haven’s added insights, makes for a brilliant account of Chaplin’s travels and shows another side to the man whom most know only from his roles on the silver screen. Historians, travelers, and those with any bit of curiosity about one of America’s most beloved celebrities will all want to have A Comedian Sees the World in their collections.
Available only in the USA and Canada.
About the Author
Lisa Stein Haven is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University Zanesville. She lives in Zanesville, Ohio. Her publications include Syd Chaplin: A Biography.
“Sharp and interesting work.”—Studies in Travel Writing
“The collection of these pieces in a single book alone warrants its contribution to scholarship on Chaplin, but readers will also value Chaplin’s tour narrative for his descriptions of meetings with politicians, writers, celebrities, and world leaders; for his commentary on politics, economics
and art; for his humorous and moving retelling of events; and for his writing style. Moreover, Haven’s meticulous research and insightful commentary enhance the reading of the narrative and show its importance to Chaplin’s career.”—Studies in American Humor
“Charlie Chaplin’s world tour after City Lights coincided with the period of the worldwide economic depression. With this first publication in book form of his travel account, we gain new insight into Chaplin’s turn toward more explicit engagement with social and political concerns evident in his next three feature films. Lisa Stein Haven does a superb job of presenting Chaplin’s own writing alongside her own insightful research and commentary.”—Charles J. Maland, author of Chaplin and American Culture: The Evolution of a Star Image
“Not only does this volume fill a major gap in the comedian’s series of published autobiographical writings, the introductory essay and annotations accentuate Chaplin’s importance as a key player on the world stage. A Comedian Sees the World is a 'must read' for anyone interested in appreciating Charles Spencer Chaplin’s celebrity at this time in his life and career.”—Frank M. Scheide, co-editor of Chaplin: The Dictator and the Tramp
“Charlie Chaplin, the self-proclaimed 'citizen of the world,' sees the world in this enlightening and highly personal account of his 1931-32 international tour, finally available in book form after more than 80 years. Accompanied by Dr. Lisa Stein Haven's insightful and well-researched notes plus rare photos and archival documents, this book is a must for Chaplin enthusiasts.”—Jessica Buxton, Discovering Chaplin blog