Beyond the Looking Glass: Narcissism and Female Stardom in Studio-Era Hollywood | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Beyond the Looking Glass: Narcissism and Female Stardom in Studio-Era Hollywood

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Beyond the Looking Glass

Narcissism and Female Stardom in Studio-Era Hollywood

Ana Salzberg

206 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-399-4 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (August 2014)

eISBN 978-1-78238-400-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


This is a fiercely intelligent, beautifully written, and tremendously appealing book… Successfully marrying film history with film theory, it is meticulously researched, drawing upon a wealth of sources, from the requisite scholarly/theoretical studies to reviews and accounts drawn from popular culture. The analyses of individual films are strikingly original and highly illuminating.”  ·  Elizabeth Ezra, University of Stirling


As living subjects rather than static icons, studio-era Hollywood actresses actively negotiated a balance between their public personas, film roles, and corporeal presence. The contemporary audience’s engagement with the experience of these actresses unsettles the traditional model of narcissistic identification, which divides the off-screen spectator from his/her on-screen ideal.   Exploring the fan’s desire for a material connection to the performer – as well as the star’s own dialogue between embodied experience and idealized image – Beyond the Looking Glass traces on- and off-screen representations of narcissistic femininity in classical Hollywood through studies of stars like Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe.  Merging historical and theoretical concerns, with particular attention to the resonance of golden-age Hollywood in new media, this book explores the movie screen as a medium of shared experience between spectator and star.

Ana Salzberg is a lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Dundee. She received her PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh, and has published on pre-Production Code cinema, Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and stars including Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly.

Subject: Film and Television Studies
Area: North America


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