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The Untrivial Pursuit

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Beth DeVries


Jeff Faux


Joseph Epstein


  • اطلاعات
  • نقد و بررسی
  • دیدگاه کاربران
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نقد و بررسی

Publisher's Weekly

June 6, 2011
Both educational and dangerous, a form of news and idle speculationâthe many facets and history of gossip are explored by Epstein (Snobbery). He explores the transition from private gossip ("The only thing missing from the Garden of Eden was a third person for Adam and Eve to gossip about") to "the professionalism of gossip" with the printing press and changes wrought by the Internet, which has obliterated the divide between "private and public spheres." Delectable firsthand anecdotes and portraits of "great gossips of the Western world"âSaint-Simon, Walter Winchell, Barbara Walters (who asks "the most tasteless questions of famous people... who themselves tasteless enough to answer her"), and Tina Brown (who makes "debased interest, misplaced curiosity, and voyeuristic emotion seem not tacky but perfectly all right, fun, smart") add to the pleasures of this serious appraisal. Readers who share Epstein's concern about gossip's power "to invade privacy, to wreck lives" and his reluctance to wholly condemn it "because I enjoy it too much" will find him disquieting and delightful.

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