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Notes on Fame


This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A free preview collection of essays from Tom Payne, author of FAME

We may regard celebrities as deities, but that does not mean we worship them with deference. From prehistory to the present, humanity has possessed a primal urge first to exalt the famous but then to cut them down (Michael Jackson, anyone?). Why do we treat the ones we love like burnt offerings in a ritual of human sacrifice? Perhaps because that is exactly what they are.

In this collection of essays, Tom Payne -- of the website Popcropolis and the "trenchant, unsettling, and darkly hilarious" Fame (New York Times Book Review) -- draws the narratives of the past and the immediate present into one intriguing story.


From Publishers Weekly

Sep 27, 2010 – Payne (former deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph) offers an erudite and vastly entertaining look at how the Western cultural obsession with and "shared human responses" to celebrity haven't really changed in the last few millennia. He finds analogies between the Trojan War and Nascar, St. Augustine's Confessions and Dollywood. Juxtaposing Britney Spears's shaving of her head with "tonsures of the past"—Anne-Josèphe Théroigne de Méricourt or Joan of Arc—and using Emile Durkheim to interpret her apparent irrational behavior reveals surprising conclusions: in that desperate moment, perhaps Spears was fumbling to communicate something to her ogling and voracious public. And here is the delightful paradox of Payne's thesis: in revisiting ancient sagas and modern sex tapes, analyzing Heath Ledger's death in the light of Goethe's Faust—he reveals more about us than any of our icons—past or present. He reveals our own prodigious appetite for erecting, cherishing, and destroying heroes, for casting out the deficient, for voyeurism as total knowledge and control. A charming, contrarian, and very witty look at how our stargazing can be "something that bonds us, and which expresses something about how our civilization works."
Notes on Fame
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  • Free
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Jan 18, 2011
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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