dunnettreader + media + cultural_critique   3

David A. Bell, review - Antoine Lilti, Figures publiques - The Fault is Not in Our "Stars", but in Ourselves - Books & ideas Jan 2014
Reviewed: Antoine Lilti, Figures publiques. L’invention de la célébrité, 1750-1850, [Public Figures. The Invention of Celebrity, 1750-1850]. Paris, Fayard, 2014. -- Before we start to lament the triumph of celebrity culture over the most basic civic literacy, we might ask if things were truly better in the past. Antoine Lilti’s brilliant book shows that modern celebrity culture had its origins in the age of revolutions, when selfhood and personal authenticity emerged as new notions. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
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january 2015 by dunnettreader
"No, the Internet Is Not Killing Culture" - Evan Kindley on Scott Timberg's Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class | Slate Jan 2015
Scott Timberg’s Culture Crash begins with a harrowing and by now familiar personal narrative of the Great Recession. In 2008, Timberg, an arts reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was laid off, a casualty of the infamous Sam Zell regime; soon after, the bank foreclosed on his family’s house. These back-to-back misfortunes made Timberg worry about more than making ends meet: They shook his faith in the entire enterprise of American creativity. “I saw myself in the third generation of people who had worked in culture without either striking it rich or going broke,” he writes, but such a career path no longer seemed available in the 21st century, and he wanted to understand why. Though there was a temptation to blame the awesome leveling power of the Internet, he concluded that “this was about more than just technology. … Some of the causes were as new as file sharing; others were older than the nation. Some were cyclical, and would pass in a few years; others were structural and would get worse with time.” -- Kindley points out that precarious living of creative workers is the historical norm, and the few decades in the 2nd half of the 20thC during which a reasonably talented, reasonably hard-working writer, artist etc might be able to have a reasonably secure middle class life was the extreme exception. He also shows how Timberg is mostly writing about the bubble he lives in, so doesn't "get" the experiences of even his contemporaries who weren't middle class white males.
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january 2015 by dunnettreader

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