Rising Star: Dandyism, Gender, and Performance in the Fin de Siecle

Overview

Celebrity personalities, who reign over much of our cultural landscape, owe their fame not to specific deeds but to the ability to project a distinct personal image, to create an icon of the self. Rising Star is a fascinating look at the roots of this particular form of celebrity. Here Rhonda Garelick locates a prototype of the star personality in the dandies and aesthete literary figures of the nineteenth century, including Beau Brummell, Baudelaire, Mallarm?, and Oscar Wilde, and explores their peculiarly ...

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Overview

Celebrity personalities, who reign over much of our cultural landscape, owe their fame not to specific deeds but to the ability to project a distinct personal image, to create an icon of the self. Rising Star is a fascinating look at the roots of this particular form of celebrity. Here Rhonda Garelick locates a prototype of the star personality in the dandies and aesthete literary figures of the nineteenth century, including Beau Brummell, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Oscar Wilde, and explores their peculiarly charged relationship with women and performance.

When fin-de-siècle aesthetes turned their attention to the new, "feminized" spectacle of mass culture, Garelick argues, they found a disturbing female counterpart to their own highly staged personae. She examines the concept of the broadcasted self-image in literary works as well as in such unwritten cultural texts as the choreography and films of dancer Loie Fuller, the industrialized spectacles of European World Fairs, and the cultural performances taking place today in fields ranging from entertainment to the academy. Recent dandy-like figures such as the artist formerly known as Prince, Madonna, Jacques Derrida, and Jackie O. all share a legacy provided by the encounter between "high" and early mass culture. Garelick's analysis of this encounter covers a wide range of topics, from the gender complexity of the European male dandy and the mechanization of the female body to Orientalist performance, the origins of cinema, and the emergence of "crowd" theory and mass politics.

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Editorial Reviews

The Observer
Garelick ... has fascinating things to tell us about a series of literary treatments of dandyism—by Balzac and Baudelaire ... [it contains] an intriguing section on L'Eve Future ... and a riveting account of Loie Fuller.
— Simon Callow
Choice
Original and indeed fascinating.... Intelligently argued and elegantly written.
Modernism/Modernity
Rising Star is gracefully and clearly written, thoroughly researched, and copiously documented. . . . By showing the affinities between nineteenth-century French culture and our own, Garelick sheds provocative new light on both.
— Gail Finney
The Observer - Simon Callow
Garelick ... has fascinating things to tell us about a series of literary treatments of dandyism—by Balzac and Baudelaire ... [it contains] an intriguing section on L'Eve Future ... and a riveting account of Loie Fuller.
Modernism/Modernity - Gail Finney
Rising Star is gracefully and clearly written, thoroughly researched, and copiously documented. . . . By showing the affinities between nineteenth-century French culture and our own, Garelick sheds provocative new light on both.
From the Publisher

"Garelick ... has fascinating things to tell us about a series of literary treatments of dandyism--by Balzac and Baudelaire ... [it contains] an intriguing section on L'Eve Future ... and a riveting account of Loie Fuller."--Simon Callow, The Observer

"Original and indeed fascinating.... Intelligently argued and elegantly written."--Choice

"Rising Star is gracefully and clearly written, thoroughly researched, and copiously documented. . . . By showing the affinities between nineteenth-century French culture and our own, Garelick sheds provocative new light on both."--Gail Finney, Modernism/Modernity

The Observer
Garelick ... has fascinating things to tell us about a series of literary treatments of dandyism--by Balzac and Baudelaire ... [it contains] an intriguing section on L'Eve Future ... and a riveting account of Loie Fuller.
— Simon Callow
Library Journal
Garelick (comparative literature, Univ. of Colorado) finds the birth of the modern celebrity in the "dandy" of 19th-century France and England. From Mallarm to Madonna, Oscar Wilde to Jackie O, Balzac to the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, the self-constructed cult personality figures of the past two centuries share many of the same traits. When the cultural tradition of the dandy merged with the erotic icon of the female stage performer, the modern star was born. Electronic mass-media only served to further distance the performer from the audience and the world in general. The richly annotated title's somewhat narrow, albeit interesting, focus makes this purchase more suitable for academic libraries, especially those collecting in the fields of entertainment, the arts, and cultural studies.Jeffery Ingram, Newport P.L., Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691048697
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/1999
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 The Treatises of Dandyism 14
Balzac's Traite de la vie elegante 14
Barbey's Du Dandysme et de George Brummell 19
Baudelaire's Le Peintre de la vie moderne 27
Idols and Effigies: Jean Lorrain's Une Femme par jour 40
Ch. 2 Mallarme: Crowds, Performance, and the Fashionable Woman 47
Ch. 3 Robotic Pleasures, Dance, and the Media Personality 78
Ch. 4 Electric Salome: The Mechanical Dances of Loie Fuller 99
Ch. 5 Camp Salome: Oscar Wilde's Circles of Desire 128
Afterword 154
Notes 169
Bibliography 213
Index 227
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