American Monroe

American Monroe
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  • ISBN-13: 9780520088054
  • ISBN: 0520088050
  • Publisher: University of California Press


Baty, S. Paige


"A highly original work that is extremely important to the study of both culture and politics. Demonstrating how the cultural icon of Marilyn Monroe provides the "body politic" in American mass-mediated society, Baty not only offers a provocative reading of the iconographic, biographic, cartographic and hagiographic modes in which "Marilyn" has been written by others, but also gives us a novel theorization of how popular culture translates, transforms, and embodies the political sphere."--Vivian Sobchack, author ofThe Address of the Eye "Reborn on coffee cups, T-shirts, and film footage, in conspiracy theory, biography, and necrophilia, the remembered fragments of Marilyn Monroe--so Paige Baty shows--make up cult objects of our imagined community.American Monroeis endlessly revelatory not only about the meanings of Marilyn but also about the nature of the common culture of the United States."--Mike Rogin, author ofRonald Reagan: The Movie "In this original, imaginative, and innovative book, Paige Baty asks and answers important questions about U.S. political culture by examining many mass-mediated memories of Marilyn Monroe. Baty uses our continuing national obsession with Monroe's life and death as a means of exploring the ways in which 'languages of belonging' dominate our mass-mediated political landscape. She explores how iconic representations, personal biographies, conspiracy theories, and anxieties about death shape the symbolic economy of American politics into what she calls the 'post-mortem condition.' This important inquiry about collective memory, mass media, and political culture starts with the life and the mass-mediated memory of one celebrity, but it builds into a fascinating and persuasive general discussion about the nature of knowledge and the social production of the individual self in a world where mass-mediated images and icons form the core of our collective consciousness."--George Lipsitz, author ofDangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism, and the Poetics of Place "If U.S. culture cannot forget Marilyn Monroe, readers ofAmerican Monroewill not be able to forget Professor Baty's elegant and provocative arguments. Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe are both representative figures in U.S. cultural politics. While his death is repetitively denied, Elvis's living clones endlessly populate hotel conventions and tabloids. But it is Marilyn's dissected body and haunting story of suicide that proliferate in the undead spaces of U.S. mass-mediated culture. InAmerican Monroe, Baty writes a haunting kind of political theory. Her project probes the profusion of meanings associated with a cultural figure who is at the heart of contemporary crises in representation.American Monroeis a book about cultural memory as political practice; it is a work to remember."--Donna Haraway, author ofSimians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of NatureBaty, S. Paige is the author of 'American Monroe' with ISBN 9780520088054 and ISBN 0520088050.

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