Killing the Gods

From The New York Times:

FAME-Final In his trenchant, unsettling, darkly hilarious “Fame,” Tom Payne also examines the murky pact that binds stars to their public. For him, this relationship stands to reveal “grim truths about humanity that we would struggle to express otherwise — those desires so unspeakable that we have to evolve a kind of code.” But where Dickinson uses the language of sparks and fire to rewrite this code, Payne, a former deputy literary editor for The Daily Telegraph in England, works to decipher it, uncovering clues in the foundational texts of Western culture. Moving seamlessly between yesterday’s great literature — Greek, Roman, early Christian, Enlightenment and Romantic — and today’s trashy tabloids, Payne advances a persuasive, if disturbing, definition of what fame is now, and what it has ever been. Above all else, it is “a systematic cycle of celebration, consecration and sacrifice,” in which cultures create gods and goddesses in order to kill them.

More here.