In modern, mass-media based cultures of fame, the constitutive function of gossip and rumour for the production of ‘celebrity’ (and celebrities) cannot be ignored. Even in Roman mythology, however, the ambivalent role of the goddess Fama – who embodies fame (bona fama) as well as infamy and rumour (mala fama) – shows that the circulation of unofficial information has always been a part of the process of attention generation that raises certain people into the realms of the ‘extraordinary’. Nevertheless, the establishment of special media formats exclusively dedicated to celebrity gossip (from the homestory via the gossip column and the tabloid press to the talk show and online-gossip) does make a difference – which manifests, among other things, in the expansion of media-enhanced visibility to include ‚ordinary‘ people too.
The lecture focuses on two examples of pre-digital reflections on celebrity gossip which may be considered prescient with regard to contemporary media cultures of fame and famousness: Kenneth Anger’s „chronique scandaleuse“ Hollywood Babylon (1965/1980) and the TV series Kir Royal – Aus dem Leben eines Klatschreporters (D 1985, Dir.: Helmut Dietl).
The talk will be held in German.
Response: Georg Stanitzek (Siegen)