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The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption Hardcover – October 16, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0231145404 ISBN-10: 0231145403 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption + Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage (Harvard Film Studies) + The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film, Enlarged Edition (Harvard Film Studies)
Price for all three: $83.38

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Essential for those with a keen interest in the sociology of popular culture and stardom.

(Library Journal)

A dazzling book... that manages to pack an astonishing amount of detail and depth into a modest number of pages... Highly recommended.

(Choice)

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, Columbia University)

An eloquent essay that contributes to the contemporary discourse on celebrity and stardom.

(Leung Wing-Fai Film Philosophy 1900-01-00)

Review

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)|

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)|

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 loud—but perhaps also weep!

(Marjorie Perloff, professor emerita of English and comparative literature, Stanford University)
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The Star as Icon: Celebrity in the Age of Mass Consumption
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