Mythology

Download Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity by Tom Payne PDF

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By Tom Payne

We may perhaps regard celebrities as deities, yet that doesn't suggest we worship them with deference. From prehistory to the current, humanity has possessed a primal urge first to exalt the recognized yet then to chop them down (Michael Jackson, anyone?). Why can we deal with those we adore like burnt choices in a ritual of human sacrifice? might be simply because that's precisely what they are.

From Greek mythology to the tales of the Christian martyrs and Dr. Faustus, Payne makes the interesting argument that our dating to superstar is perilous, and that we wouldn't have it the other approach. He additionally indicates that the folks we elect as our heroes and villains in the course of the a long time says much approximately ourselves—and what it says is usually relatively scary. Fame even brings new lifestyles to all of the literary figures from our highschool English sessions. In those pages, the main ephemeral fact tv stars (those "famous for being famous") locate themselves within the comparable VIP living room because the characters of The Iliad. With nice wit, scholarship, and perception, Tom Payne attracts the narratives of the previous and the current into one interesting story.

Fame is a stunning, hilarious examine the mortals, and the immortals—us and them.

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Sample text

They never would look directly at her, she said: instead they would only screw up their faces and squint at her briefly. The moon, however, found the people, his younger brothers, to be handsome, since they often smiled up at him in the night sky. It did not take long before the sun was deeply jealous of the moon and his great popularity, and she decided to kill the people. Sitting in her daughter's house one day, she refused to leave and instead sent down a killing heat. Many people died, and the rest despaired.

They are the creative force that stands against chaos. The immortals make things happen; they fill the world with lifenot necessarily good life, but life. It is also true, of course, that since cultures clothe the archetype of divinity in their own terms, gods and goddesses are reflections of social realities, value systems, and any given society's view of itself in relation to the cosmos. The Greek Zeus is the top patriarch in a highly patriarchal society, and he does things that a powerful patriarch might be expected to do; he rules arbitrarily, for example, and he is a prideful philanderer.

The Arunta people of Australia worship Sun Woman, and the major Japanese deity is the sun goddess Amaterasu. An important American Indian example of a sun goddess is the Cherokee Grandmother Sun, whose story, told below, has parallels in other tales of a god or goddess whose disappearance because of the loss of a child brings pain to humankind. Such a story was that of the Hittite god Telepinu, who had to be coaxed out of his cave in order that the earth might become fertile again, or that of the Greek Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, Page 24 whose annual return from Hades brings life back to the earth.

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