So, in my book report on Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, I wrote:
One telling word choice that jarred me was vaudeville. Certainly Kierkegaard did not use a direct translation since he preceded the American theatre form by half a century or so.
A couple weeks later, and I’m reading a book by George Burns that includes some photos, including one of a playbill for one of his and Gracie Allen’s vaudeville bits:
Note that this 1926 play bill says that it is Vaudeville’s Centennial Year. Which would put vaudeville’s origin in 1826, which is about fifteen years before Fear and Trembling was written.
The Wikipedia entry is a bit closer to my original reckoning of the origins of vaudeville in the latter part of the 19th century, but given a playbill in a George Burns book and wikipedia, who are you gonna believe? Me, I’m going with the playbill.
So I’m sorry to have spread misinformation. I didn’t look it up; I assumed I knew what I was talking about regarding the origin of vaudeville, and as the old saying goes, “When you ASSUME, you make an ASS of UME,” and ume, as I seem to vaguely recall, is French for yourself. But I’m only a blogger on an untrafficked blog. I can’t be arsed to look it up.