English 363

Response #5
November 27, 2011, 11:38 pm
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Caitlin Machicote

Professor Alvarez

Response #5

28, November, 2011


Fantastic Fame: Biases of a Pieces’ Worth Based on Creator



            While browsing sites like Netflix and Amazon typically suggestions arise for certain viewers or shoppers. These suggestions derive from information of previously viewed or previously purchased items. Suggestions formulate from criteria like genre of previous titles, actors, and even authors or creators of previous titles watched. Advertisers and creators alike count on a fan base for their texts or films that ensure readership or watcher-ship. These authors count on their prestige in their industry and fame to sell themselves while selling their creations.

            Not unlike the authors from today David O. Selznick used a similar strategy when marketing his third film Since You Went Away. Unlike Gone With the Wind and Rebecca, books previously adapted by Selznick into film versions, Since You Went Away lacked prominence and popularity. Since Selznick could not market the book directly, he marketed himself as the author of the film. Film-watchers presumed that Since You Went Away as worth watching because they knew Selznick as a good author of film. This marketing lead to different ideals of authorialship and what an author is.

            “ The Random House Dictionary makes an important set of distinctions in providing three definitions for the word “author”…The third definition is even more abstract: ‘the maker of anything; creator.’ The movement within this entry is from person to structure to figures of creation”(Fenster 46). Due to evolution of film criticism the meaning of the word author changed. Selznick could be seen as an author because he chose what the audience would see and what to exclude. Selznick advertised himself as the author of his film and changed what it meant to be an author. Selznick used his fame to create a bias view of prestige or worth for his film. Pairing his name and the title of author Selznick sold himself and his name to sell the piece he was working with.

            “An author’s name… permits one to group together a certain number of texts, define them, differentiate them fro and contrast them from others”(qtd in Fenster 48).  An authors name allows people certain assumptions about a work whether it be text, film, or any other creation one might consider themselves an author of. This grouping of texts can be accompanied with biases, such as that since one text of a particular author gains popularity, each text produced by this author will as well. This is a bias that is not always necessarily true, and would lead consumers to not consider other authors whom they have not read or consumed. This bias of prestige based on name of author not only facilitates many unwarranted suggestions in our online community, but it also limits readership of others who may be more worthy than someone who is merely leeching off their own fame. Authors sell their names to create popularity for their new works from their popularity of their old works and Selznick is no exception. This practice is unfair however no publisher nor production company will ever deny an author the right of ownership to their own piece, however some authors seem to not want this right.






Works Cited


MARK FENSTER Journal of Film and Video , Vol. 41, No. 1, Advertising and Promotion (Spring 1989), pp. 36-51.

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Caitlin, this article will not work. Try again, and let me know when you fix it. This has nothing to do with Literature or Latinos. It’s a marketing article you found.

0 for this, 2.5 if you find a different article.

   salvarez 11.29.11 @ 1:57 pm

Caitlin, you can use this material for some of your next blog posts though. Remember to look for something with history/culture dealing with Latin America or its Literature. What you have here is basically another form of narratology and not cultural analysis.

   salvarez 11.29.11 @ 3:40 pm

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