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We Go PogoWalt Kelly, Politics, and American Satire$
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Kerry D. Soper

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032844.001.0001

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Walt Kelly, Mid-Century Poplorist

Walt Kelly, Mid-Century Poplorist

(p.195) Chapter 6 Walt Kelly, Mid-Century Poplorist
We Go Pogo

Kerry D. Soper

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter attempts to consider Kelly’s significance as a cultural icon from its many angles. It moves beyond the narrow description of Kelly as a comic strip artist and considers his larger public significance as a politically engaged public intellectual, media-age raconteur, and poplorist. The United States has long preferred “organic” or folky intellectuals whose self-deprecation, homey wit, and democratic worldview qualify them to opine about the foolishness of our collective values and practices. The lack of pretension in their critiques and use of vernacular speech reinforces their ideas as authentic. Kelly fits nicely within this legacy as a self-taught intellectual who employed colloquial language, a playful wit, and a self-inspecting ideology to chide American readers.

Keywords:   cultural icon, media-age raconteur, poplorist, collective values, vernacular speech

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