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The American Isherwood$
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James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816683611

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816683611.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

The Celebrity Effect

The Celebrity Effect

Isherwood, Hollywood, and the Performance of Self

(p.227) 16 The Celebrity Effect
The American Isherwood

Lisa Colletta

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines how Christopher Isherwood became fascinated with celebrity culture in Hollywood in the 1940s and established a circle of friends that is a veritable who’s who of Classic Hollywood. Although Isherwood felt the need to distance himself from his early writing, his fame rested for many years on Goodbye to Berlin, those linked short pieces of semiautobiographical fiction based on his life in Berlin in the early 1930s. By the time Goodbye to Berlin was published in 1939, Isherwood was already making his way toward Southern California, to work in the film industry and to record his experiences at the center of a remarkable cultural shift. Isherwood’s fiction in the late 1940s and early 1950s, especially Prater Violet and The World in the Evening, addressed the lure of celebrity as well as the darker side of Hollywood.

Keywords:   celebrity culture, Christopher Isherwood, Hollywood, Goodbye to Berlin, Southern California, film industry, Prater Violet, The World in the Evening, fiction

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