Princess Diana, Jackie O, Grace Kellythe star icon is the most talked about yet least understood persona. The object of adoration, fantasy, and cult obsession, the star icon is a celebrity, yet she is also something more: a dazzling figure at the center of a media pantomime that is at once voyeuristic and zealously guarded. With skill and humor, Daniel Herwitz pokes at the gears of the celebrity-making machine, recruiting a philosopher's interest in the media, an eye for society, and a love of popular culture to divine our yearning for these iconic figures and the role they play in our lives.
|Publisher:||Columbia University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Daniel Herwitz is the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Humanities at the University of Michigan. His Columbia University Press books include Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony (2012) and, with Lydia Goehr, The Don Giovanni Moment: Essays on the Legacy of an Opera (2006).
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. The Candle in the Wind
2. There Is Only One Star Icon (Except in a Warhol Picture)
3. Therefore Not All Idols Are American
4. A Star Is Born
5. The Film Aura: An Intermediate Case
6. Stargazing and Spying
8. Diana Haunted and Hunted on TV
9. Star Aura in Consumer Society (and Other Fatalities)
What People are Saying About This
The Star as Icon displays an uncommonly high level of erudition and a masterful understanding of art history and philosophy rarely encountered in contemporary studies of mass culture. Daniel Herwitz's book is likely to provoke vigorous debate and few people will be able to read it without finding themselves challenged to articulate their own beliefs and commitments. It reconfigures the axis along which relations among high and low culture may be apprehended, yet does so without recourse to identity politics or a master narrative of globalization.
Edward Dimendberg, author of Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity
The Star as Icon can be compared with Stanley Cavell's Pursuits of Happiness, but is more contemporary and less optimistic. The book studies significant movies ( Rear Window, The Philadelphia Story), is culturally literate, and is very good on the idea of aura and popular culture as it has evolved since Walter Benjamin. Required reading for any course in film studies.
Arthur Danto, Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Columbia University
In this highly original and provocative book, Daniel Herwitz argues that the star icon is not just an emblem of our celebrity culture. Rather the star is a creature 'caught between transcendence and trauma in her own life and in the public's gaze.' As aesthetic type, the star is at once created and destroyed by the society in which she operates. Both a philosophical meditation and an incisive cultural critique, this study of consumer culture's power to establish aura, only to reduce it quickly to a marketing formula, will make you laugh out loudbut perhaps also weep!
Marjorie Perloff, professor emerita of English and comparative literature, Stanford University