In 1874, Stéphane Mallarmé, the great French poet, undertook a highly idiosyncratic project--the publication of a fashion magazine called La Dernière Mode (The Latest Fashion)--that he almost single-handedly compiled. Using a variety of feminine and masculine pseudonyms to theorize about fashion and to advise on popular vacation destinations, home furnishings, and entertainment, Mallarmé created a spectacularly original work. The distinguishing feature of Mallarmé's magazine is that it explores the nature of fashion from the inside. While it is a genuine fashion magazine, it also satirizes the entire genre. Various theories have been entertained about the work: it has been viewed as a prose poem, a hoax, and a cynical money-making venture. Furbank and Cain, however, argue that such guesses are hopelessly off the mark. Complete with the original artwork and a contextualizing introduction and commentary, this is the definitive translation of one of French literature's greatest enigmas.
This book explores the emergence of "lifestyle" in the US, first as a term that has become an organizing principle for the self and for the structure of everyday life, and later as a pervasive form of media that encompasses a variety of domestic and self-improvement genres, from newspaper columns to design blogs. Drawing on the methodologies of cultural studies and feminist media studies, and built upon a series of case studies from newspapers, books, television programs, and blogs, it tracks the emergence of lifestyle's discursive formation and shows its relevance in contemporary media culture. It is, in the broadest sense, about the role played by the explosion of lifestyle media texts in changing conceptualizations of selfhood and domestic life.