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In this 2005 book, Aaron Jaffe investigates the relationship between two phenomena that arrived on the historical stage in the first decades of the twentieth century: modernist literature and celebrity culture. Jaffe systematically traces and theorises the deeper dependencies between these two influential forms of cultural value. He examines the paradox that modernist authors, while rejecting mass culture in favour of elite cultural forms, reflected the economy of celebrity culture in their strategies for creating a market for their work. Through collaboration, networking, reviewing and editing each other's works, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, among others, constructed their literary reputations and publicised the project of modernism. Jaffe uses substantial archival research to show how literary fame was made by exploiting the very market forces that modernists claimed to reject. This innovative study also illuminates the cultural impact and continued relevance of the modernist project.Read more
- Jaffe investigates the interactions between high modernism and celebrity culture
- The study is an important interdisciplinary contribution to the debates within modernist studies and cultural studies
- Jaffe investigates collaboration and literary reputation in relation to Eliot, Pound, Joyce and others
Reviews & endorsements
"I really have to commend an academic study that, while pursuing the intricacies of a serious argument about authorship and reputation, also manages to develop a related line of critique extending from Marilyn Monroe to James Joyce to Starbucks. As such an unusual lineage might suggest, Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity is a thoroughly engaging, often witty, and deeply perceptive study that opens new avenues of enquiry within the field of modernist studies in an imaginative and productive way."
- English: The Journal of the English Association, Christoph LinderSee more reviews
"...highly recommended [for] upper-division undergraduates and above..."
- Choice, Martha S. Vogeler
"Jaffe's work is at the forefront of a new wave of scholarship now interrogating what he calls 'the durability of the modernist brand'.... [It] crucially adds to the debate a carefully nuanced yet refreshingly inventive way of embedding the concept in the flows of social, cultural, and economic capital in the period."
- The James Joyce Literary Supplement, Sean Latham
"...will doubtless inspire other researchers.... [It] is a pioneering study in that it develops genuinely new approaches to the study of modernist authorship, collaboration, editing, and promotion."
- Modernism/Modernity, Faye Hammill
"...rich book...filled with economic and cultural insights that do predict our current 'branded' literary state."
- The Journal of American Culture, Michael Brody
"Building on ... the materialist turn in modernist studies, Jaffe constructs an original and vigorously theorized account of modernist self-promotion."
English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920
"...innovative and important."
James Joyce Literary Supplement
"Vivid intelligence gleans from every chapter of Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity."
Alan Hepburn, McGill University, James Joyce Quarterly
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- Date Published: January 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521123792
- length: 264 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
3. Collaborative work
4. Promotional networking
5. Institutions, outrages, and postcards
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