New York Times columnist John Seabrook analyzes a cultural landscape in which there are no longer any boundaries between highbrow and lowbrow culture. For Seabrook, the changes at The New Yorker stand as an especially potent example of “Nobrow,” his term for the convergence of culture and. These two twin tendencies of John Seabrook are on obnoxiously full display in Nobrow, his unfortunate book length exploration into the corruption of The New.

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Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook

In the old days, highbrow was elite and unique and lowbrow was commercial and mass-produced. While it did have some interesting insights on things like Star Wars, it was very repetative in everything it said, and most of the chapters made no sense at all to me.

Then he considers the chains that have bought space in this once resolutely un-mass-market neighborhood during the s–Banana Republic, Pottery Barn–and worries over their wares the way the fabled little old lady from Peoria might have over a drag queen. Published February 6th by Vintage first published February 15th Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Then in the next moment I realize that it is a window and I am looking out onto West Broadway. Mar 06, Megan rated it liked it Shelves: An interesting book, well-written in a smooth style that demonstrates onbrow Seabrook is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Individual choices, individually considered, are no more interesting than our favorite colors, and to the extent that a culture defines itself as offering such choices it weabrook sure to prove trivial.

Indonesian or Bauhaus have distinct formal properties–one handmade, the other machine-made, one ornamental, the other austere–and these may or may not appeal to one or another person. May 03, Sara rated it really liked it.

Read it Forward Read it first. Not a horrible read, but not terribly enlightening. Seabrook comes off as an elitist prick sometimes esp in the chapter about his father’s closest Seabrok Movius in conversation with Susan Sontag.


In Nobrow judgments about which brand of jeans to wear are more like judgments of identity than quality He feels erased–his class, education, profession, identity itself as expendable as this furniture that solicits his attention. The Pottery Barn feels like a museum, too.

Certainly it is interesting to note how the rich hide amongst everybody else, but he never really wants to talk about the reasons why, other than a vague sense of cultural anxiety. Paperbackpages. Nobrow June 1, Edwin Frank.

Fifty years later, One-Dimensional Man looks more Seabrook does a nice job capturing the saebrook when the shopper catches his eye in the shop-window and realizes that it is he who is the passing illusion, when the consumer realizes that he is the one being consumed.

He contemplates how, in an ironic reversal of past patterns of style dispersion, fashion now migrates from the lower classes to the upper classes. A wonderful historical and personal jaunt through the marketing highbrow culture and how it slowly evolved into his term Now we are going one step further to become completely ad-free.

It looks like an atelier, with its high ceilings and big clean windows. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Review: Nobrow | Boston Review

As I sit here I see hip-hugging cargo pants, with both turned-up and straight cuffs, old brands Polo, Tommy, Guess and newer labels, like Muss and L. Meaning, if course, you must be perceptive enough to distill and universalize wisdom from page after page of very narrowly-constructed framework read: As it happens, people in Nobrow do form real attachments to a whole range of cultural occasions and properties; these outlast the vagaries of buzz, or were never really part of it in the first place.

Books by John Seabrook. At Broadway, I turn left and start heading uptown. For best printing results try turning on any options your web browser’s print dialog makes available for printing backgrounds and background graphics. A very telling and insightful book told loosely through the story of evolution of the New Yorker. You will be helping us cultivate a public sphere that honors pluralism of thought for a diverse and discerning public.

Nobrow Culture

If you’re not interested in those things, this book, which is purportedly about the melding of high and low culture but which is actually about, yes, you guessed it, John Seabrook, is pretty much a waste of paper.


This book is so 20 seasons ago. A seqbrook too anecdotal, but some chewable ideas in there. Derecka PurnellBoston Review. More of just a compilation of previous interviews and memories about them, and less of a sociological look at the role of high culture and class in America.

Other editions – View all Nobrow: Distributed by Random Housesearbook Art – pages.

Nobrow: the culture of marketing, the marketing of culture – John Seabrook – Google Books

A few people carry into the Guggenheim the air of town-house seriousness that I still instinctively carry into a museum – that earnestness with which one goes to “get” high culture at the Met. I should have gone with the Belgians. I usually have a destination in mind—to shop for food at the Gourmet Garage, or to look at the clothes at Helmut Lang or Agnes B. Preview — Nobrow by John Seabrook. But these two looks acquire significance, in their own right and for the person drawn to them, not as options but as they appeal to a stance–moral, political, and aesthetic–toward a larger world.

But though Seabrook celebrates this “new more democratic but also commercial culture At the end he finally gets to the point or realizes the obvious: View all 4 seabrokk. The actual cultural analysis seemed very naive and rudimentary. Paintings by van Gogh and Monet are the headliners at the Bellagio Hotel, in Las Vegas, while the Cirque de Soliel borrows freely from performance art in creating the spectacle inside.

I read this for a class, and thought it was a very interesting look at how what used to be highbrow lost its distinction as highbrow once marketing took ojhn and the highbrow products were made available to everywhere.