Maris KreizmanSlaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture

Flatiron Books, 2015

by Gael Cooper on January 28, 2016

Maris Kreizman

View on Amazon

The concept sounds simple: Maris Kreizman's Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture (Flatiron Books, 2015), based on her popular Tumblr, pairs up classic celebrity and television images with relevant quotes from literature. But the blend of high and low culture makes for a delightful and insightful read.

Here is where Kurt Vonnegut meets Brenda Walsh, summing up life in the 90210 zip code via one of his most iconic "Slaughterhouse-Five" lines. Where a Joan Didion essay written decades before Taylor Swift was ever born sings out new insight into the pop star's famously personal lyrics. And where a Joseph Heller quote from "Catch-22" sums up Donald Trump quite nicely, political ambitions and all.

Kreizman, a former book editor and current publishing-outreach lead at Kickstarter, joins fellow pop-culture junkie Gael Fashingbauer Cooper for a gleeful troop through the book, discussing favorite quote-photo pairings and why they work so well. Kreizman also shares behind-the-scenes info on the photos she wishes were in the book, and reveals which new shows would've fit nicely. ("Empire" is really all a big Dostoevsky novel when you get down to it, if ninenteenth-century Russia had hip-hop labels and private jets.) A book concept that may at first seem like a gimmick proves itself to be a rich new lens through which to view the relationship between modern entertainment and celebrity and literary wisdom of the ages. Sartre meets Seinfeld here, and they have a lot in common.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Peter J. GloviczkiJournalism and Memorialization in the Age of Social Media

December 30, 2015

Humans have coped with tragedy using ritual and memorials since the Neolithic era. Doka called a memorial a space invested with meaning, "set aside to commemorate an event such as a tragedy." Memorialization is a ritual of bereavement, the creation of a place, permanent or not, that facilitates the persistence of memory. This space allows for […]

Read the full article →

Chris WellsThe Civic Organization and The Digital Citizen: Communicating Engagement in the Networked Age

December 28, 2015

How has the digital revolution changed communication? In The Civic Organization and The Digital Citizen: Communicating Engagement in the Networked Age (Oxford University Press 2015), Chris Wells examines the ways that organizations have negotiated the changing communications landscape, sometimes failing to fully understand the expectations of younger people. Wells is an assistant professor in the […]

Read the full article →

Megan PrelingerInside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age

November 19, 2015

Megan Prelinger's beautiful new book brings together the histories of technology and visuality to ask the question, "What cultural history of electronics can be extrapolated from a close look at the associated graphic art?" Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age (W. W. Norton, 2015) treats the commercial and advertising art of the mid-twentieth […]

Read the full article →

Jérôme BourdonHistoire de la télévision sous de Gaulle

November 17, 2015

Jérôme Bourdon's Histoire de la télévision sous de Gaulle (Presses des Mines, 2014) is a revised version of a book that first appeared in 1990. This edition has been revamped, and includes a new introduction in which Bourdon explores the historiography of the medium in the years since the book's original publication. A history of television that […]

Read the full article →

John Durham PetersThe Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media

November 17, 2015

[Cross-posted from the NBN Seminar] John Durham Peters' wonderful new book is a brilliant and beautifully-written consideration of natural environments as subjects for media studies. Accessible and informative for a broad readership. The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (University of Chicago Press, 2015) is structured as a series of meditations on and explorations of water, fire, air, earth, […]

Read the full article →

Eric T. Meyer and Ralph SchroederKnowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities,

November 15, 2015

By now it is incontrovertible that new technology has had an effect on how regular people get information. Whether in the form of an online newspaper or a Google search, new technology has allowed individuals to access masses of information faster than ever before. What, then, has been the effect of digital tools on research […]

Read the full article →

Katie EllisDisability and Popular Culture: Focusing Passion, Creating Community and Expressing Defiance

November 8, 2015

Popular culture has been transformed in its attitudes towards disability, as representations across media forms continues to respond to the contemporary politics of disability. In Disability and Popular Culture: Focusing Passion, Creating Community and Expressing Defiance (Ashgate, 2015), Katie Ellis, a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University, uses critical perspectives from disability studies to both challenge and […]

Read the full article →

Hilary NeroniThe Subject of Torture: Psychoanalysis and Biopolitics in Television and Film

October 27, 2015

Did you notice that after 9/11, the depiction of torture on prime-time television went up nearly seven hundred percent? Hilary Neroni did. She had just finished a book on the changing relationship between female characters and violence in narrative cinema, and was attuned to function of violence in film and television. This was around the […]

Read the full article →

Joseph R. DennisWriting, Publishing, and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100-1700

October 18, 2015

In late imperial China, how did local elites connect with and influence the central government? How was local information made and managed? How did the state incorporate frontier areas into the empire? How were books produced and read, and by whom? In his new book, Joseph R. Dennis helps answer these questions and more by […]

Read the full article →