"James Dean revealed the subtle light which rests so eloquently on everyone, and as we follow his sleight of hand, we wonder how it ever managed to be so elusive. Like everything intimate, remote and transforming, when all was nearly apparent, he disappeared, leaving only his iridescent traces. This was James Dean's magical capacity."
"Stardom gave an indestructible aspect to "James Dean," but it was the deceptive ordinariness of his creation and the very casualness with which he adopted it that made him so believable and effective. There is an averageness, an almost statistical norm, a boy-next-doorness about his causal delinquent, and almost as much as Tom Sawyer as there is of Cain. Jimmy spawned a collective individuality, a fashionable non-conformity that would in turn generate the trendy freaks of the sixties and fantasmaphoric punks of the seventies. Demonstrating the syntax for a new sensibility, Jimmy codified and canonized a new teenage wardrobe, and he gave adolescence a face - his face."
~From The Mutant King by David Dalton, 1974