Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

Interview: Virginia Postrel on The Power of Glamour

November 3rd, 2013 - 8:46 pm

postrel_glamour_cover_11-2-13-1

Whenever Jimmy Page is interviewed about how he produced Led Zeppelin’s albums in the 1970s, he’s inevitably asked about the huge booming drum sounds he recorded. And he always tells the interviewer that he created that sound by moving the studio microphones away from the drum kit rather than having the mics right on top of the instruments as was the accepted practice at the time, and that it’s a recording studio axiom that “distance makes depth.”

One of the leitmotifs in Virginia Postrel’s gorgeous new book is that distance plays quite a role in creating glamour as well. In The Power of Glamour, the former Reason editor, who now writes for Bloomberg.com, notes that glamour hides the flaws of its subject, hides the difficulties in creating the photographs that give them such atmosphere. And that glamour can be a powerful tool for selling products and ideas as disparate as fashion, movies, politics, the future, and even negative subjects such as war and terrorism.

See also: the ubiquitous image of terrorist and mass murder Che Guevara, the crafting of which Virginia discusses in The Power of Glamour, along with the distance between Barack Obama, cool, distant, glamorous and exotic presidential candidate in 2008, and the bumbling wannabe technocrat of 2013.

During our 20 minute interview, we’ll explore:

● The source and meaning of The Power of Glamour’s iconic cover photograph.

● How does glamour focus its audience’s inchoate longing for transformation?

● What is the difference between glamour and charisma?

● Why does the future, particularly the technological future, seem both glamorous and terrifying?

● In the 21st century, is the role of glamour diminishing, or changing into new forms?

And much more. Click here to listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(20 minutes and 19 seconds long; 18.6 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.81 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (3)
All Comments   (3)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
My last pay check was 9500 dolr working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out.........>>>>>>>> http://xurl.es/z16n0
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leroy answered I'm amazed that any one able to make $4106 in one month on the computer. about his----> W­W­W.F­­b­­3­­­9.Ⅽ­­­O­­­Ⅿ
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the reason the Jolie photo would have failed in the '50s, aside from the truth of what Ms. Postrel observed of how different generations observe the telling of a story, is that it scores low marks on the 3 most important elements of mid-century presentation of product: design, technical ability and vision.

There's little point to going to Asia if you don't employ Orientalist tropes rather than make it look like Jolie is taking a break from turtle-snatching in Louisiana.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All