Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon

Jackie Under My Skin Interpreting an Icon Jackie Under My Skin is a richly original and fascinating investigation into how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis transformed our definitions of personal identity and style For thirty years we have lived wi

  • Title: Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon
  • Author: Wayne Koestenbaum
  • ISBN: 9780452276499
  • Page: 432
  • Format: Paperback
  • Jackie Under My Skin is a richly original and fascinating investigation into how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis transformed our definitions of personal identity and style For thirty years we have lived with our internalized images of Jackie, but until now no writer has definitively explored what it feels like to exist in imaginative and heartfelt connection to this ubiquitJackie Under My Skin is a richly original and fascinating investigation into how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis transformed our definitions of personal identity and style For thirty years we have lived with our internalized images of Jackie, but until now no writer has definitively explored what it feels like to exist in imaginative and heartfelt connection to this ubiquitous icon In an elegiac gallery of fantasies and tableaux, Wayne Koestenbaum explains the late First Lady s mesmeric hold on America by anatomizing the myths and metaphors that have attached to her Analyzing her iconography with both passion and precision, he places stories about Jackie and photos of Jackie within the context of literature, film, and the idiosyncratic imagination Following her into America s dreamwork, far from pious family values, Wayne Koestenbaum dares to see her as an embodiment of pleasure, a figure of Circean extravagance, and a unique and necessary emblem of that most exhilarating of pursuits freedom without responsibility.

    One thought on “Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon”

    1. At his most exasperating, Koestenbaum seems a child of the forced captive mating of Roland Barthes and Camille Paglia. He’s got his dad’s parenthetic prolixity, and his mom’s loopy associative rants. And I would add Jackie Under My Skin to the pile of Books That Should Have Remained Essays. That said, some of the chapters—“Jackie as Dandy,” “Jackie and the Media,” “Jackie as Diva”—make this recommendably brilliant despite the 2(.5) stars I’m giving it. Koestenbaum’s spe [...]

    2. I had a bit of trouble adjusting to the style of this book. Each chapter is more like a list than an essay, the ideas accumulate rather than build, there are very few transitions between ideas, and the final paragraph of most chapters is an additional list item rather than what I would consider a conclusion. However, these may be characteristics of deconstructionism or cultural studies; I'm more used to the nonfiction style of, say, Adam Gopnik's essay "Learning to Drive," in the February 2 New [...]

    3. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book (having skimmed through it, I wasn't certain I wanted to read yet another Jackie-as-popular-icon book). But, in fact, it turned out to be excellent; a commendable work. It looks at Jackie (& her larger-than-life persona) from every angle imaginable; it views her more than a mythical icon - she's analyzed more as an archetype. A self-acclaimed "Jackie worshipper," the author is articulate in his arguments & theories - he writes be [...]

    4. This book had a few interesting tidbits; otherwise it was an unending run-on of the author's opinion of what was behind Jackie's persona. The author seemed obsessed with making sexual comparisons with a lot of the incidents surrounding Jackie. If one wants to read this as a psychological fantasy/ historical novel, maybe it would suit the reader. The book could have been much shorter if a lot of the imagined facts, what I deemed page fillers, had been left out.

    5. A great read and perhaps worth a revisit in an election year where scrutinizing a candidate's spouse (read "woman", read "wife") is a minor pop culture sporting event -- because of course the "First Lady" of the reigning superpower should represent all women HA! Jackie wouldn't stand for the conventional dither and neither does Michelle! Rock the bump!

    6. I thought this book was going to be a joke, but it was really an interesting examination of someone who was a cultural phenomenon and icon. I was glad to see that I'm not the only one out there who has Jackie O. dreams.

    7. After finishing this book you're still left wondering why the author is obsessed with Jackie Onassis, a subject he never really explains. Readable, if somewhat peculiar.

    8. Interesting perspective on Jackie, but not my favorite. It was more like a stream of consciousness that quality writing.

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