By Barry King (auth.)
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Extra info for Taking Fame to Market: On the Pre-History and Post-History of Hollywood Stardom
The purpose of this chapter is to give more precision to this development at the level of the labour process of acting. My basic argument is that stardom depends on an intimate and organic connection with the merchant form of capitalism. 1 I will elaborate on this distinction subsequently. For now I want to focus on the broad parameters of the commercial theatre’s development in London as encountered by Garrick in 1741. The ﬁrst general condition is that the theatrical context in which Garrick operated was marked by an intensiﬁed process of market capture brought about by the Licensing Act of 1737.
Mr. Spectator reserved the full brunt of his moral didacticism for women. As shoppers and consumers – and worse still as politically awakened beings – women were chided for abandoning their true place in the domestic sphere and the virtuous pursuits of their sex: beauty, sociability, charm and the nurturance of men and their families (BarkerBenﬁeld, 1992: 306–309). The way this was achieved owed more to a process of detached observation than a public engagement in dialogue. The reader, if accepting Mr.
The power differences between participants might affect the punctuality of the settlement – as in the aristocratic distinction between debts of honour among peers, which must be paid immediately, and legally enforceable debts to tradesmen that might be slowly discharged without dishonour – but this did not affect the notion of a just price. For merchant capitalism, by contrast the notion of a just price is replaced by the notion of nice bargain (Thomas, 2009: 152). The enhanced theatricality of merchant 24 Taking Fame to Market life stemmed from the relational gap between the buyer and the seller imposed by the logics of a cash-based economy wherein price became a contingent value no longer ﬁxed by custom.