By Gustavo Pérez Firmat

ISBN-10: 0292739052

ISBN-13: 9780292739055

Half a century after audience first watched a father and son jogging to the neighborhood fishing gap, whistling an easy, but unforgettable, music, The Andy Griffith Show is still the most renowned sitcoms within the background of yankee tv. hundreds of thousands of audience have noticeable the convey both in its unique run, its ongoing reruns, on DVD, or on the web. web pages dedicated to the exhibit abound, thousands of fan golf equipment convey fanatics jointly, and a plethora of books and Mayberry-themed item have celebrated all issues Mayberry. A small cottage has even constructed round the teachings of the show's episodes. yet why does a sitcom from the Sixties set within the rural South nonetheless evoke such devotion in humans today?

In A Cuban in Mayberry, acclaimed writer Gustavo Pérez Firmat revisits America's native land to find the resource of its enduring attraction. He methods the express from a different perspective—that of an exile who hasn't ever skilled the rootedness that Andy and his fellow Mayberrians take with no consideration, as individuals who have by no means strayed from domestic or lived between strangers. As Pérez Firmat weaves his own memories of exile from Cuba with an research of the convey, he makes a powerful case that the intimacy among individual and position depicted in TAGS is the key of its lasting relevance, at the same time he finds the spectacular ways that the sequence additionally displays the racial, generational, and political turbulence of the 1960s.

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Additional info for A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown

Sample text

It’s Dickie! He’s come back. ” That’s the way things go in Mayberry. By the end of each episode, everyone, including pets, has returned to his or her place in the Golden Cage. This circular structure expresses in narrative what Mayberry’s isolation expresses in spatial terms—anxiety about the effect of incursions from the outside. ” Whether by his shady dealings or by his advocacy of change, every out-­of-­towner represents a threat to the established order. Week after week, Mayberry is being pounded, its way of life under assault.

The proverb that a man’s home is his castle supposes that a man needs to shield himself and his family from danger. For the TAGS tribe, Mayberry is the castle. A metaphorical moat rings the town. In Poor White (1920), an elegy to the small-­town life of fictional Bidwell, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson likens the bonds among residents to those that knit a family: “The people who lived in the towns were to each other like members of a great family . . A kind of invisible roof beneath which everyone lived spread itself over each town .

Underlying this prohibition is the town’s aversion to change. Outsiders are suspect not only because they are dishonest, but because they undermine the status quo. A stranger arrives, tries but fails to disturb the peace, and departs— and nothing has changed. The typical episode ends where it began: the same characters, in the same place, doing whatever they were doing before the disturbance occurred: the Taylors relaxing on their front porch, Floyd and the boys shooting the breeze in the barbershop, or Andy and Barney tidying up 40  The Place the courthouse.

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A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown by Gustavo Pérez Firmat

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