Constructing Postmodernism

Routledge
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Brian McHale provides a series of readings of a wide range of postmodernist fiction, from Eco's Foucault's Pendulum to the works of cyberpunk science-fiction, relating the works to aspects of postmodern popular culture.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Nov 12, 2012
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Pages
356
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ISBN
9781135083632
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Takayuki Tatsumi is one of Japan’s leading cultural critics, renowned for his work on American literature and culture. With his encyclopedic knowledge and fan’s love of both Japanese and American art and literature, he is perhaps uniquely well situated to offer this study of the dynamic crosscurrents between the avant-gardes and pop cultures of Japan and the United States. In Full Metal Apache, Tatsumi looks at the work of artists from both sides of the Pacific: fiction writers and poets, folklorists and filmmakers, anime artists, playwrights, musicians, manga creators, and performance artists. Tatsumi shows how, over the past twenty years or so, writers and artists have openly and exuberantly appropriated materials drawn from East and West, from sources both high and low, challenging and unraveling the stereotypical images Japan and America have of one another.

Full Metal Apache introduces English-language readers to a vast array of Japanese writers and performers and considers their work in relation to the output of William Gibson, Thomas Pynchon, H. G. Wells, Jack London, J. G. Ballard, and other Westerners. Tatsumi moves from the poetics of metafiction to the complex career of Madame Butterfly stories and from the role of the Anglo-American Lafcadio Hearn in promoting Japanese folklore within Japan during the nineteenth century to the Japanese monster Godzilla as an embodiment of both Japanese and Western ideas about the Other. Along the way, Tatsumi develops original arguments about the self-fashioning of “Japanoids” in the globalist age, the philosophy of “creative masochism” inherent within postwar Japanese culture, and the psychology of “Mikadophilia” indispensable for the construction of a cyborg identity. Tatsumi’s exploration of the interplay between Japanese and American cultural productions is as electric, ebullient, and provocative as the texts and performances he analyzes.

Ridley Scott's dystopian classic Blade Runner, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, combines noir with science fiction to create a groundbreaking cyberpunk vision of urban life in the twenty-first century. With replicants on the run, the rain-drenched Los Angeles which Blade Runner imagines is a city of oppression and enclosure, but a city in which transgression and disorder can always erupt. Graced by stunning sets, lighting, effects, costumes and photography, Blade Runner succeeds brilliantly in depicting a world at once uncannily familiar and startlingly new. In his innovative and nuanced reading, Scott Bukatman details the making of Blade Runner and its steadily improving fortunes following its release in 1982. He situates the film in terms of debates about postmodernism, which have informed much of the criticism devoted to it, but argues that its tensions derive also from the quintessentially twentieth-century, modernist experience of the city – as a space both imprisoning and liberating.
In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Bukatman suggests that Blade Runner 's visual complexity allows it to translate successfully to the world of high definition and on-demand home cinema. He looks back to the sciencefiction tradition of the early 1980s, and on to the key changes in the 'final' version of the film in 2007, which risk diminishing the sense of instability created in the original.
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