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Louis Greenberg

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Academic’ Category

Douglas Coupland’s nostalgia

Those who are that way inclined can now read my article, ‘“A Museum of Fifteen Years Ago”: Nostalgia in Three Novels by Douglas Coupland’ in the latest volume of UNISA’s Journal of Literary Studies (29.1, March 2013).

In several of his earlier books, notably Generation X, Douglas Coupland presents his recent past as a lost moral condition and the mid-1970s as the moment of the fall into the confusions of a post-industrial age. His protagonists repeatedly commemorate and mourn the last days of this putative golden age. While it can be argued that there is nothing essentially unique about his X-generation characters’ nostalgia, it is clear that Coupland believes that his characters inhabit a special socio-economic period with unique challenges and losses. Focusing on Generation X (1991), Life After God (1994) and Girlfriend in a Coma (1998), the article examines how Coupland’s characters must negotiate between progressive new forms, expressions, anxieties and styles and an older-fashioned, nostalgic attachment to the past and a search for essential meaning, truth and order. Julia Kristeva’s concept of the chora and certain ideas of Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard are used to counterpoint and illuminate the discussion.

You can access the article here, or feel free to drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.


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Sins of the Blood

Those who are that way inclined can now read my essay, “Sins of the Blood: Rewriting the Family in
Two Postmodern Vampire Novels” in the March 2010 edition of Journal of Literary Studies (Vol 26.1).

Here’s the abstract:

Postmodern vampire novels often concern themselves with issues surrounding Western family life. In this article I will compare the presentation of family violence in Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls (1992) and Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Sins of the Blood (1995). Brite’s radical subversion contrasts interestingly with Rusch’s appeal to less radically reinscribed, liberal values. These novels position their characters in suburban locales, where traditional family dynamics and upbringings are the accepted norm and where the inequalities of these structures are perpetuated. This traditional milieu, with its veneer of order, is often shown to be the breeding place of psychoses and antisocial behaviour, and of cycles of inherited violence. Whereas Rusch’s liberal critique stops here, a key example of the genre’s radical potential is Brite’s exploration of self-chosen and unorthodox family structures as a subversive option to the violence of the hegemonic norm. The inherently subversive, proximate, queer figure of the vampire acts as a catalyst for this interrogation, playing the role, in its chameleonic fashion, of any family member, from abusive father to alluring sister, or standing on the margins of human society and subtly making us compare it to ourselves.

If you have a subscription, you can download it here. If you don’t, drop me a line.

JLS 26.1 cover


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No thanks

(Thanks to Lauren for the fab idea)

I
Agents: Stock (Let’s Get the Boring Stuff Out of the Way)

I’m sorry though, despite the fluency of your writing,
that I won’t be offering to represent you.
Our agency is extremely full at the moment and my workload immense.
We do have to be very clear about our commitment to an author’s writing,
and certain of the commercial prospects

Although I greatly enjoyed reading your submission,
unfortunately we are unable to make an offer for the work.
Could you let me know if you would like your manuscript to be returned?
(more…)


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