The goods on gossip

Here’s a taste:

And Ronald de Sousa of the University of Toronto wrote, in the book Good Gossip (1994), that “gossip is typically a subversive form of power: an attempt by the weak and often, though far from exclusively, by women to use the power of knowledge independently of those who primarily wield more conventional power”.

In this rendering, gossip, in its popular and journalistic forms, is the subversive revenge of the resentful over the resented, resulting in the apparently endlessly satisfying proof that celebrities, the wealthy, and the titled have lives replete with scandal, misfortune and misery. It is nearly always best done by those who feel marginalised. In Evelyn Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies, the gossip about the bright young things is relayed to the lower classes via the popular press by penniless young aristocrats with no prospects.

And here’s the lot


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