Desperately Seeking Madonna: In Search of the Meaning of the World's Most Famous Woman

Desperately Seeking Madonna: In Search of the Meaning of the World's Most Famous Woman

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by Adam Sexton
     
 

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From cartoons to academic essays to tabloid journalism, Madonna has been interpreted in almost every way possible. Here is an original collection of these writings that is almost as diverse as the Material Girl herself which attempts to uncover as many interpretations of Madonna's appeal as is possible.

Overview

From cartoons to academic essays to tabloid journalism, Madonna has been interpreted in almost every way possible. Here is an original collection of these writings that is almost as diverse as the Material Girl herself which attempts to uncover as many interpretations of Madonna's appeal as is possible.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The wide range of sources from which music journalist Sexton has culled articles, cartoons and poems for this anthology is evidence of its diversity: it includes Mad magazine, YM , the National Review and Christianity and Crisis. With the exception of Henry Rollins's poem, in which he admits that Madonna arouses in him a desire to ``shop at Sears,'' the overly reverent pieces--such as Helen Gurley Brown's coy admission that she too is a material girl and Camille Paglia's predictable vision of Madonna as the only true feminist--have a stale flavor. On the other hand, Ruth Conniff's thoughtful essay should be the final word on Madonna as mere boy toy, and in a re-reading of Madonna's attitudes toward race and sexuality, bell hooks posits that Madonna's messages in these areas (as revealed by her treatment of employees in Truth or Dare ) are less benign than they seem. Sexton has the good sense not to take his subject too seriously, and so has included such gems as the results of a ``symposium survey'' that solicited opinions on Madonna's taste in men (``Yucky'') and bad things the participants had heard about the performer (``She's from Worcester, Mass.''). (Jan.)
Library Journal
Love her or hate her, Madonna is an inescapable figure in the contemporary cultural landscape. This collection of essays, reviews, cartoons, and ephemera (e.g., Rol ling Stone 's annual polls; David Letterman's ``Top Ten'' list) is an eloquent and often amusing testimony to her persuasiveness. Camille Paglia, Art Buchwald, John Simon, Andrew Greeley, Ellen Goodman, and a host of less-than-household names have a shot at the Woman of a Thousand Phases. The editor offers his own thoughts in a free-ranging introduction that neatly sums up his subject as ``the ultimate performance artist.'' Unfortunately, this book went to press before Madonna's latest artistic works, the book Sex (Warner, 1992) and the film Body of Evidence (1993), preoccupied the nation; undoubtedly, a full-length sequel could be compiled from these controversial additions to her repertoire. For popular culture collections.-- Thomas Wiener, formerly with ``American Film''
Mary Carroll
Editor Sexton dropped out of rock journalism in 1987, convinced that much of 1980s rock was little more than pornography--with Madonna a particularly egregious panderer. Over time, he changed his mind, concluding that "what each of us thinks of Madonna says as much about us as about her." Sexton's selections trace the shifts in both popular and critical assessments of Madonna: reviews by critics Dave Marsh, Robert Christgau, Vincent Canby, and John Simon; columns by Russell Baker, Art Buchwald, Andrew Greeley, Ellen Goodman, and Liz Smith; serious analyses by (among others) Joyce Millman, Susan McClary, Lynne Layton, Camille Paglia, Luc Sante, Ruth Conniff, and Bell Hooks; humor from "Mad", the "New Yorker", and David Letterman; summaries of Madonna's standing in "Rolling Stone" polls from 1984 through 1991. For Sexton, Madonna is--like Andy Warhol--"a canny manipulator of images and public opinion," perhaps the "ultimate conceptual artist." Ms. Ciccone's younger fans will probably find much of "Desperately Seeking Madonna" incomprehensible, but readers who view Madonna as a remarkable cultural icon will relish this collection's breadth and diversity of opinion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307483744
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/10/2008
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
316
File size:
5 MB

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Desperately Seeking Madonna: In Search of the Meaning of the World's Most Famous Woman 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter. Oops.