“Celebrity is the advantage of being known by those who don’t know who you are” this concise and accurate definition of celebrity as well as can be to have someone in our era, but it is not. Is from the year 1781, the author is Nicolas Chamfort, Mr. paradox in the culture of the development as feeling that the excellent research of the historian Antoine Lilti recently the invention of celebrity (1750-1850). Unlike most translators who the celebrity is a modern phenomenon, linked the development of mass culture – Lilti shows how the culture of celebrity appeared throughout the 18th century, in the context of profound transformation in public space is undeniable that new technologies, digital media has transformed the mechanisms of the appearance of celebrities on an unprecedented scale. However, this shift in visual culture and print already happened, on a smaller scale during the 18th century, which was founded both in technical innovations such as cash which has already allowed many, many works of images – as well as in the emergence of embryonic and noisy press of the gossip, endless gossip, which started the culture of celebrity in the modern world.
In the universe, the King, the ceremonial of the court that placed the sovereign under the eyes Permanent of service, the assumed identity between the private and the public: the King was a person full year and reflected in the transparent state. Lilti shows how celebrity culture, founded on shared invention of private life and advertising is slowly undermining the political weather of the representation within the file system and not by Chance, the word celebrity in the stomach, arises at the same time. But who will be the main characters that will embody this new character, the social, the man (or woman) famous?
This is where reading becomes more attractive, since it allows you to review under the New Horizons space all of eminent personalities, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Liszt, or Byron – like figures is unclear, as actors, charlatans and thieves.
Is that the most important attribute of celebrity is self-government in relation to the general criteria that govern a person’s reputation. When a writer an actor, a corrupt politician or a thief to become famous, the scandal it generated is no longer evaluated in the light of their own standards, the original activity: moving to public figures that are no longer judged in terms of competencies. The essence of celebrity culture is that it is equivalent to putting the characters of the areas of activities are very different. Lilti examines the paths symbolic of this boom, especially when the celebrity, in addition to being strongly eroticized, start in the attack to the political world: Marie Antoinette, who was more famous as the “Queen of fashion”; Merab political actors more disputed and impressed by the French Revolution; Washington’s “celebrity founder of American democracy”, and finally Napoleon’s “celebrity sound”, even when the image of the emperor stripped.
Celebrity is an integral part of the presence of the mass can not be distinguished from the readers and viewers that the science of the same news at the same moment, through the newspapers interested in the same events and experience the same emotions in the reading of the same texts. The initial place that begins to emerge in this mechanism of recognition of a celebrity at the same time intimate social, individual and collective, will be literature developed by the writer under the gaze of one time an anonymous of many readers, captured in their individuality. This will be particularly noticeable in the public reception to two of the major bestsellers of the century, Julie or the new Heloisa, Ross, and the sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe. The same Ross developed a theory: the reader must allow immediate access and authentic from the reader to the account of the author, thanks to this which is at the same time, recognized as a gifted writer, but above all, I love how account.
But because people experience the blessings and the curses of celebrity? Lilti examines documents several examples of prominent personalities of the age of enlightenment and romanticism, which led to another border conflict between the intention to showcase and promote their own fame, and cruel, and the loss of your own identity from the private sector, who had arrived to conduct some even the desire to be forgotten. But in this scenario full of intensity and nothing draws as much attention as the figures of Rousseau and Byron. The two sought to the celebrity less in their works than in the case of the picturesque, galvanized general expensive in loneliness and erotic of genius in the situations and events that become the stories and images that viralizaram at that time. Byron loved his dog a favorite name of the skipper of a young Newfoundland that died at the age of 5 years, after being bitten by a rabid dog. The poet not only commissioned the image of the dog also spent a fortune on a marble mausoleum for the animal. Already Ross, who was wearing the clothes of the Armenian in the image of the most famous, I love your little dog, who went by the name of the Sultan, Buster Brown, and wrapped the tail, which set the goal.
Any way a celebrity, who sought as a modern form of social prestige and at the same time discredited merely simulacra in the media, it will not after all be a natural consequence of duplication and aesthetic views of democratic societies? With this in mind, it was clear that escape from the paradox of celebrity was something elusive. Or perhaps conceivable only in creatures ensimesmadas or completely free of ambition and desires for power or delusions of grandeur.
*Elias Thomé Saliba is a historian, Professor at the University of the South Pacific and author of the book ‘crocodiles, charming cartoonish autonomic: essays in the cultural history of humour’