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The Frenzy of Renown

The Frenzy of Renown

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Add This - The Frenzy of Renown

Written by Leo BraudyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Leo Braudy

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 720 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: November 25, 1997
  • Price: $22.50
  • ISBN: 978-0-679-77630-7 (0-679-77630-3)
about this book

For Alexander the Great, fame meant accomplishing what no mortal had ever accomplished before. For Julius Caesar, personal glory was indistinguishable from that of Rome. The early Christians devalued public recognition, believing that the only true audience was God. Marilyn Monroe owed much of her fame to the fragility that led to self-destruction. These are only some of the dozens of figures that populate Leo Braudy's panoramic history of fame, a book that tells us as much about vast cultural changes as it does about the men and women who at different times captured their societies' regard.  

Spanning thousands of years and fields ranging from politics to literature and mass media, The Frenzy of Renown explores the unfolding relationship between the famous and their audiences, between fame and the representations that make it possible. Hailed as a landmark at its original publication and now reissued with a new Afterword covering the last tumultuous decade, here is a major work that provides our celebrity-obsessed, post-historical society with a usable past.

"Remarkably ambitious . . . an impressive tour de force."
--The Washington Post Book World

"Expansive . . . Braudy excels at rocketing a general point into the air with the fuel of drama. "

Table of Contents

I. The Urge to Be Unique
Above it All: Lindbergh and Hemingway
The Longing of Alexander
The Homeric Pattern
Beyond the Horizon
The Heritage of Alexander

II. The Destiny of Rome
Public Men and the Fall of the Roman Republic
Pompey: History and Histrionics
Cicero: The "New Man"
Caesar: Enter the Stage Manager
The Authority of Augustus
From Octavian to Augustus
The Imagery of Augustus: Coinage and the Negotiable Face
Apollo and the Emperor's "Genius

III. The Emptiness of Public Fame
The Uneasy Truce: Authority and Authorship
Virgil: The Flight of Fama
Horace: The Private Poet as Ideal Roman
Amor/Roma: Ovid and the Subversion of Political Fame
Caligula and Nero: The Monstrous Emperor and the Stoic Withdrawal
Christianity and the Fame of the Spirit
Jesus: The Publicity of Inner Worth
Augustine's Confessions: The Glory of Independence
Augustine's City of God: Pilgrims in the World
Writing: The Alternate Empire
The Self-sufficiency of the Holy Man
The Genius of the Emperor/The Soul of the Christian

IV. The Intercession of Art
The Imagery of Invisible Power
The Face of Jesus
The Cult of Saints and the Fame of Intercession
Icons and Iconoclasm
Charlemagne and the Unrestricted Image
Who Was Charlemagne?
Medieval Kingship:  The Spirit of Arms
The Intermediary and His Audience
Francis of Assisi: Sainthood in the Streets
Dante: The Fame of Fame's Bestowing
Chaucer: The House of Fame
The Rediscovery of Posterity
Printing and Portraiture: The Dissemination of the Unique
Depicting the Royal Line
Styles of Artistic Assertion
Mantegna and Durer
Humanists, the Reformation, and the Herald of Print
The Rise of the Graven Image

V. The Democratization
From Monarchs to Individualists
The Public Eye
Portrait of Painting
The Royal Actor
Aristocrats Without Ancestors
The Sincerity of Solitude
Pope, Swift, and Franklin: The Stage of the Book
Warlocks of Individualism
The Advent of the Fan
The Posture of Reticence and the Sanction of Neglect
Founded in Fame
The Lineage of the Unprecedented
Genius, Originality, and Neglect
Hazlitt and Keats: The Fame of Alienated Forerunner
Carlyle and Emerson: The Taxonomy of Fame
Democratic Theater and the Natural Performer
America: The Shape of Visible Authority
Dickinson and Whitman: The Audience of Solitude
From Dandies to the Avant-garde: Poe, Baudelaire's Poe, and Baudelaire
The Visible Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Mathew Brady, P.T. Barnum
Self-made in USA
Corvo and London: A Status Beyond Money
Suicide and Survival
Hostage of the Eye: The Whole World is Watching
Politics of Performance
Hostages of the Eye: The Body as Commodity
Conclusion: The Dream of Acceptability

Afterword to the Vintage Edition: Fame Without History