By Timothy W. Galow (auth.)
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Additional info for Writing Celebrity: Stein, Fitzgerald, and the Modern(ist) Art of Self-Fashioning
Eliot and Marianne Moore, Willa Cather and Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein all wrestled with the new media apparatus and forms of promotion. Given the struggles of influential writers, it is necessary to consider the rhetorical strategies they employed in their attempts to come to terms with an emerging celebrity culture. To give just one example, I will return to perhaps the most frequently cited text in discussions of modernist authorship, T. S. ”20 Similarly, Eliot advocates “divert[ing] interest from the poet to the poetry”; yet the essay as a whole is preoccupied with detailing the proper relationship between an author’s “personality” and a “significant” work of art.
46 Celebrity and the Literary Field The joint development of print and celebrity cultures in the United States at the turn of the century had an enormous impact on the profession of authorship. The expanding geographical range covered by newspapers and mass market magazines promoted national conversations about books and authors, conversations that became an important part of most major news publications in the early twentieth century. The increasing amount of space devoted to texts meant that columnists and writers kept a close eye on literary developments and almost any event or interesting detail could receive mention.
20 Similarly, Eliot advocates “divert[ing] interest from the poet to the poetry”; yet the essay as a whole is preoccupied with detailing the proper relationship between an author’s “personality” and a “significant” work of art. ”21 The author, consequently, is irrelevant to the analysis of a work of art because the complex emotions and situations that appear in texts have nothing to do with the “real” experiences of the author. ”23 Though Eliot does insist that such choices be made in the interest of impersonality, he does not examine the distinction between conscious choices and unconscious formations, nor does he acknowledge how such a backdoor admission, made in the last sentences of his argument, might affect his larger goal of removing the author from the scene of the completed poem.