Spectacular Allegories

Spectacular Allegories : Postmodern American Writing and the Politics of Seeing

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In a wide-ranging study, Josh Cohen argues that the American fixation with "image" - literally celebrating the surface, the visual, the spectacular spaces of the cinema and the city - has produced a crisis of literary perception, with crucial cultural and political consequences. Using the work of Walter Benjamin to underscore his analysis, Cohen explores the implications of this postmodern obsession in a series of fascinating readings of contemporary American fiction - Norman Mailer, James Ellory, Robert Coover and Joan Didion amongst others - and draws on new thinking around issues of identity, cultural geography, visuality and space to argue that the "crisis of seeing" in postmodern American fiction, despite the pessimism of Jameson, Harvey and Baudrillard, provides the condition for a new and transformed critical politics of vision.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 174 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 19.05mm | 427g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • notes, references, bibliography, index
  • 0745312128
  • 9780745312125

Table of contents

Visuality - allegory and postmodern American writing; Cold War visions - the development of Norman Mailer's allegorical impulse; in camera - the allegorical impulse of cinematographic fiction; allegorical city - Los Angeles in postmodern American writing.
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