By Jesse Kavadlo
Bringing jointly disparate and well known genres of the twenty first century, American pop culture within the period of Terror: Falling Skies, darkish Knights emerging, and Collapsing Cultures argues that pop culture has been preoccupied via fantasies and narratives ruled through the nervousness -and, surprisingly, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, relations, legislation and order, and storytelling itself. From aging superheroes to younger grownup dystopias, heroic killers to lustrous vampires, the figures of our fiction, movie, and tv repeatedly demonstrate and luxuriate in the imagery of terror. Read more...
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Additional resources for American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures
Yet to me the language suggests more than menace: the narrator is no longer acquiring or destroying, but, rather, recycling. When an item—or even, perhaps, a culture—has outlived its purpose, we hope to return it in order to make something new out of it. Both physical consumption and ethereal spirituality even use the same verb: redeem. In this sense, the novels’ conclusions seem less traditional, and less a repudiation of the notion that “I’m a thirty year old boy, and I’m wondering if another woman is what I need” (51) than the possibility of genuine connection.
For Fight Club’s narrator and Tender Branson do not use their potential new status as survivors as a means to control Marla and Fertility, respectively; indeed, neither woman seems in any position to be controlled. Rather, each narrator is ﬁnally in a position to claim his own story. As Fight Club’s narrator begins, “I remember everything” (15), the line’s meaning clear only by the end, when the reader realizes that he, the narrator, has not been aware of his experiences as Tyler. In Survivor, Branson similarly realizes that [i]t’s all done.
1) Their discovery of narrative authority seems crucial, emblematic of Palahniuk’s own sense of the connective, redemptive powers of story. Both books pivot upon the point in which the characters take control of their lives by taking control of their story. The narrators’ ironic ﬁrstperson unreliability—Fight Club’s narrator does not know the most basic truth about himself, that he shares a body with Tyler Durden; Tender Branson, again among many other examples, does not realize that his attempt to prevent the plane’s hijacking is the very hijacking he is trying to prevent—posits narrative uncertainty as moral uncertainly.