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Copy of The Kugelmass Episode

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Natalia Smaczniak

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Kugelmass Episode

The Kugelmass Episode
Won the 2012 Oscar for best original screenplay for his romantic comedy,
Midnight in Paris
Author: Woody Allen
Born in Brooklyn, New York on December 1, 1935
Education and Career
Grew up in a loud, Jewish, middle-class family in the Midwood Section of Brooklyn
At the age of fifteen he started writing quips for newspapers, using the pseudonym 'Woody Allen'
Legally changed his name from Allen Stewart Konigsberg to Heywood Allen when he was 17 years old
Known as an American film director, screenwriter, actor and author of several books and short humor pieces
He is best known for his elements of parody and exaggeration in his comedy films
Attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn
While still in high school, Allen found himself writing jokes for television celebrities and columnists
In 1952, he joined the National Broadcasting Company, where he got the opportunity to write for television comedy stars and productions such as
The Tonight Show
Attended New York University, 1953; City College, 1953.
In 1961, Allen began performing as stand-up comedian in nightclubs and on television
By 1966, he was a successful playwright
His breakthrough in his career came in 1977 with his production of the film
Annie Hall,
starring Diane Keaton
Produced a series of works, especially films, throughout the next two decades
His latest achievement will be when he receives the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan 12, 2014
Other Major Works
By Natalia Smaczniak, Kimmy Havlicek, Kelly Rice, Cathlyn Sison
The Kugelmass Episode
By Woody Allen
Brief Background
Humor found in the
"The Kugelmass Episode"
Woody Allen utilizes his colloquial diction to make the story humorous
Kugelmass' foolish and childish attitude while he is supposed to be a man of intelligence
Characterization is used to add humorous elements
Allen's use of exaggeration and parody
This story can be considered an example of satire and farce
Definition: The quality of a literary or informative work that makes the character and/or situations seem funny, amusing, or absurd.
Verbal irony: Usually the simplest form of irony, a figure of speech in which the speaker says the opposite of what they intend to say
Dramatic irony: The contrast between what a character says/thinks and what the reader knows to be true. The value of this kind or irony lies in the truth it conveys about the character or character’s expectations. First person stories similarly use dramatic irony to suggest that the narrator is not reliable.
Irony of situation: The discrepancy between appearance and reality or between what is and what would seem appropriate.
Definition: a literary term referring to how a person, situation, statement, or circumstance contradicts or contracts with something. Many times it is the exact opposite of what it appears to be. There are many types of irony
DIRCAE Award 2006
American Comedy Award twice 1987.
BAFTA Film Award 1978, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1997
Berlin International Film Festival 1975
Bodil Awards 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 1986, 1987
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2012
Butaca Awards 1996, 1997
Cannes Film Festival 1985
Cesar Awards, France 1980, 1996
David di Donatello Awards 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 2006
Directors Guild of America, USA 1978
Lifetime Achievement Award 1996
Fotogramas de Plata 1974, 1986
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1986, 1987
Golden Globes, USA 1986, 2012
Goya Awards 2006
Guild of German Art House Cinemas 1979, 1981
Hochi Film Awards 1986
Independent Spirit Awards 2009
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 1980
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1978, 1979
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 1998
London Critics Circle Film Awards 1987, 1991, 1998
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 1977, 1986
Mainichi Film Concours 1987
National Board of Review, USA 1986
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1977, 1980
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1977, 1979, 1985, 1986
PEN Center USA West Literary Awards 1990
Prince of Asturias Awards 2002
Robert Festival 1984
San Sebastian International Film Festiva 1984
Sant Jordi Awards 1979, 2006, 2009
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America 1975
Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival 2001
Turia Awards 1998, 1999, 2006, 2010
Venice Film Festival 1983, 1995

Published Plays: Don’t Drink the Water, Death Knocks, The Floating Light Bulb, A Second Hand Memory, Don’t Drink the Water and Play It Again, Sam

Short Stories: Without Feathers, Getting Even, Mere Anarchy, Side Effects

Films: Take Money and Run, Husbands and Wives, Bullets over, Mighty Aphrodite and Sweet and Lowdown, Hannah and Her Sisters, Midnight in Paris, Annie Hall
Writing Style
"One of film's most recognizable writers and directors."

-Uses aspects of his personal life in his characters, usually in the protagonist

-Many times, his characters are pessimistic

-Aspects of Humor


-Dramatic irony along with with verbal and situational

-Psychological Realism

-Romantic Values
Examples of Irony in "The Kugelmass Episode"
Many sources of irony are found in the story
Dramatic Irony
-found when Kugelmass calls his wife an oaf, when in reality he portrays the oaf
-found when Kugelmass tries to escape into another novel after he claimed he learned his lesson
-Kugelmass' characterization; claims to be a professor (man of intelligence) when he is foolish and has a childish attitude

Verbal Irony
-"...I'm an analyst, not a magician" (349) "I'm a magician not an analyst." (356)
Situational Irony
-the ending of the short story when Kuglemass is running for his life from the Spanish verb tener, "to have"
Plot Structure
Situation: Kugelmass is bored of his marriage and seeks to have an affair

Rising Action: With the help of The Great Persky, Kugelmass begins a relationship with Emma Bovary within Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary and when he decides to bring her back to New York, the cabinet breaks and she can’t go back

Conflicts: Kugelmass vs. Himself: Kugelmass is unhappy with who he is and contradicts himself throughout the story. He is described as an old and hairy man, but realistically believes he can lead a life of glamour and romance.
Ideal life vs. Real life: His fantasy and reality catch up to one another when he’s forced to keep his wife and lover happy causing immense stress and pushing him to the brink of suicide.

There is no resolution because Kugelmass returns to Persky after his incident with Emma and hasn't learned his lesson even though he claimed “I will never cheat again, I swear it” (357)

Conclusion: Instead of learning his lesson, Kugelmass returns to Persky to be transferred into another book yet it goes horribly wrong. Persky dies of a heart attack and Kugelmass is stuck within a Spanish dictionary pursed by the verb, “to have”
New York City in the 1970s

Yonville, France (Madame Bovary)
About the Story
New York City in the 1970s,
Yonville, France (Madame Bovary)
Sidney Kugelmass: The protagonist. A humanities professor at the City College of New York. He feels his life is dull and lacked romance, and with the help of a magician named The Great Persky, gets placed into a book called
Madame Bovary.
Kugelmass is described as old and “bald and hairy as a bear”. He is very shallow and selfish. He wants to have everything he desires without sacrificing his marriage and job.

The Great Persky: A magician who contacts Sidney Kugelmass to help him obtain more romance in his life. He owns a magic box; whoever is placed into it can be transported into any book by placing it in the box with them and knocking three times.

Emma Bovary: Emma is a character in Gustave Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary. She is beautiful, spoiled and materialistic. Emma has an affair with Kugelmass and goes back to New York with him to pursue her dream of being an actress in New York City.

Daphne Kugelmass: Daphne Kugelmass is Sidney Kugelmass’s current and second wife. Kugelmass grows bored with her and calls her an “oaf" and a “troglodyte”.
satire- use of irony, exaggeration, or wit to expose or attack human foolishness or stupidity
farce- a comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated and impossible
Pursuit of happiness
: Kugelmass has the notion of an ideal love life against his failing marriage. He even seeks help to have an affair.
People may often desire what they do not have
: Throughout the story, Kugelmass is not satisfied with his current life, and wants what he realistically cannot have. In the end of the story, Kugelmass is hounded by the Spanish verb tener, "to have." This can serve as a physical reminder of the elusiveness of the heart’s desire.
Greediness can lead to consequences
: After a while Kugelmass wants to do one of these trips into a book again, but the magic fails and Kugelmass is stuck in a story that is not so pleasant – an old Spanish textbook.
Absurdity of human desires
: Kugelmass is longing for an escape from his mid-life crisis and "oaf" of a wife by seeking an affair with a young and beautiful lover. The fantasy in this story shows how the only way Kuglemass could get what he desired was through a magician, which is realistically absurd
Point of View: Third Person Omniscient
The narrator reveals thoughts of multiple characters- not just the thoughts of the protagonist, Kugelmass
"My God, I'm doing it with Madame Bovary!...Me, who failed freshman English" (352)

“What he didn’t realize was that at this very moment students in various classrooms across the country were saying to their teachers, ‘Who is this character on page 100? A bald Jew is kissing Madame Bovary?’ A teacher in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sighed and thought, Jesus, these kids, with their pot and acid. What goes through their minds!” (352)

"I cannot get my mind around this,’ a Stanford professor said. ‘First a strange character named Kugelmass, and now she’s gone from the book. Well, I guess the mark of a classic is that you can reread it a thousand ties and always find something new.” (354)

"…I'm an analyst, not a magician" (349) "I'm a magician, not an analyst" (356)
Full transcript