Bringing alive a paradisal novel or the never‐ending wedding of art and consumption: the case of the “Ami Fritz” in Alsace over the last century

Patrick Hetzel (Professor of Marketing, University of Paris II‐Panthéon‐Assas, Paris, France)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 December 2000

Abstract

In 1864 two famous novelists: Erckmann and Chatrian co‐edited a fiction called L’Ami Fritz. Very quickly this work had a tremendous success. It was the story of a fellow named “Fritz Kobus” who was living in Alsace. He could be seen as the stereotype of how the “collective unconscious” in France was imagining a prosperous Alsatian fellow. In a very short period of time this fiction became a significant link between the Alsace region and the whole French nation. We will use this example in order to show that the links with consumption and art are very peculiar. It is not only companies that are interested in the appropriation of art, but also consumers. This will help us to show that for example in postmodern times the distinction between high and low culture is not as clear as it may first appear. High and low culture are blending together in interesting ways. What we would like to show here, is that the novel sometimes gives a landmark to the consumers, telling them what their ideal aspirations should be and then the society tries to reflect the novel.

Keywords

Citation

Hetzel, P. (2000), "Bringing alive a paradisal novel or the never‐ending wedding of art and consumption: the case of the “Ami Fritz” in Alsace over the last century", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 18 No. 6/7, pp. 374-380. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634500010348969

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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