Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Primary acknowledgment is due to Rita Barnard and Tamar Katz, and especially Nancy Armstrong, all of whom encouraged and shaped this book from its beginning. Digging deeper, John Bishop and Robert Scholes fostered my interest in modernist literature and culture. More recent but no less emphatic gratitude ...
Introduction: Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity
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Like modernism, celebrity is not all fun and games. My epigraphs above, respectively comic and tragic, illustrate two persistent aspects of twentieth-century celebrity discourse, both of which find a correspondence in modernist literature. The exchange between Simpson p
Chapter 1. Oscar Wilde, Fashioning Fame
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Celebrities are more than brand names; they are irreproducible characters, imprimaturs, trademarked styles. The world’s first legal trademarked image, trademark number one of Britain’s Trade Mark Registration Act of 1875, is the red triangle logo that is found, still, on bottles of Bass Ale. This triangle ...
Chapter 2. James Joyce and Modernist Exceptionalism
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This chapter arrives at the heart of the matter of this book, exploring celebrity’s mutually enabling relationship with high modernism via the works of James Joyce. Joyce, I will show, picked up where Wilde left off, in the sense that he followed Wilde’s model of self-fashioning in ways that appropriate, ...
Chapter 3. Gertrude Stein, Everybody’s Celebrity
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Wilde and Joyce help produce the modernist exception, a version of the discrete celebrity as we know it, but celebrity is no longer a discrete phenomenon. Over the last half-century, our media has inundated us with stories and images of celebrity meetings: pairs of practical strangers from different sectors ...
Chapter 4. Charlie Chaplin, Author of Modernist Celebrity
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Charlie Chaplin is thought to have been the most famous person in the world during the 1920s,1 and his films show him to be very much a modernist, fashioning himself as an exceptional figure, a high-culture author embodied in an object. His high modernism displays itself most clearly in Modern Times (1936), ...
Chapter 5. Rhys, the Obscure: The Literature of Celebrity at the Margins
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In 1956, Francis Wyndham, having not yet become one of Jean Rhys’s most ardent professional supporters and friends, published an essay referring to its subject as “the late Jean Rhys.” Ten years later Rhys completed work on and published Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys’s obscurity, that which prompted Wyndham’s ...
Epilogue. “Everybody who was anybody was there”: After Modernism, After Celebrity, John Dos Passos
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By using pivotal aspects of this book’s argument to re-read Rhys, whose works have a less overt engagement with celebrity discourse than do the works of Wilde, Joyce, Stein, and Chaplin, I have hoped to suggest a productive way of reassessing all modernist writing. Once we understand celebrity discourse ...
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Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 10 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Literary Modernism Series