In an interview she gave to Marie Claire in June 2016, the American singer, actress and producer Selena Gomez, aged twenty-three at the time and enduring relentless media scrutiny, insisted, ‘I don’t want people to look at me as someone who is just this celebrity person.’ Gomez’s desire to be respected for her achievements illustrates perfectly Sharon Marcus’s assertion in The Drama of Celebrity that modern commentators and consumers frequently link celebrity with ‘superficiality, artifice, and irrationality’. Marcus goes so far as to suggest that ‘many now equate celebrity with worthlessness’. She believes that, while the evaluation of merit has always been at the core of celebrity culture, the manner in which we value celebrity, often through the prism of gender, has shifted. Successful women threaten long-established hierarchies. Consequently, a male celebrity remains more likely to be considered deserving of fame than his female counterpart. A female celebrity, Marcus states, is ‘likely to find her success derided and dismissed’, even when it is the ‘result of exceptional talent’.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
Perception is a weird thing. Lawrence Durrell saw Hydra as a ‘great horned toad’ but Henry Miller thought it resembled a ‘huge loaf of petrified bread’. Niko Ghika painted it as a series of neat white and orange squares.
The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.