Nearly everyone who has cared about Chaplin's art has been convinced that in The Tramp or The Little Fellow, to use the terms invariably employed in discussing Chaplin's great creation, we had a very direct expression of the artist's personality—"so simple and unaffected" despite the onslaught of previously unimagined celebrity. Certainly Chaplin has wanted us to believe that…. Surely what is best and wisest in him can be found in The Tramp. (p. 13)
There are lots of ways to put it; he found poetry in the ordinary, he transcended reality, he extended the range of pantomime to previously unimagined dimensions. Yet none of them quite explain his phenomenal appeal. Chaplin has never been generous in...
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