An anatomy of celebrity: representations of celebrity in late twentieth-century fiction

Button, Chris (2008) An anatomy of celebrity: representations of celebrity in late twentieth-century fiction. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Although there is a wide spectrum of contemporary works of literature currently available that implicitly engage issues of celebrity culture, this thesis focuses specifically on three representations of celebrity that have contemporary cultural resonance: 1. celebrity as image in Martin Amis's Money (1984), where I examine how the trappings of celebrity culture can detrimentally shape self-image and dictate behavioral conformity; 2. celebrity as identity in Bret Easton Ellis's Glamorama (1998), where I examine how celebrity defines cultural conceptions of success, desire, image, and fashion, and encourages a superficial, surface-level engagement with the world; and, 3. celebrity as secular religion in Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor (1999), where I explore how the same reverential mechanisms of celebrity operate in religious fanaticism. I have selected these novels in order to provide a representative sampling of contemporary fiction dealing with celebrity from the 1980s to present, a period which coincides with the explosion of popular culture in the academy, and the emergence of celebrity as a topic of theoretical attention, if not critical literary attention.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10247
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 110-113).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Celebrities--Fiction--20th century--History and criticism; Fame in literature; Popular culture in literature.

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