Staying Young or Staying Alive?: The Pictorial Turn in American Literature
2010 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
The paper is prompted by the discussions whether the print novel is now in its death throes or whether it is undergoing yet another rebirth. It argues that in response to the pressures of new media and digital technologies, the print novel is developing hybrid forms that combine the verbal with the visual. This type of hybridity appears to be the hallmark of early 21st century literature. Focusing on two recent American novels, Joyce Carol Oates’s My Sister, My Love (2008) and Reif Larsen’s The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (2009), the paper maps some of the interactions between their thematic concerns and what Hugh Kenner has called “the technological space” of the text, the page. The question that the paper attempts to answer is whether the fictional narratives that make use of the pictorial add to what Johanna Drucker describes as the condition of “image glut and visual overstimulation” (Sweet Dreams 193) or whether they inscribe themselves into the tradition of critical distance and negativity, that is, into the tradition of the avant garde.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Humanities Specific Literatures
Research subject English
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278175OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-278175DiVA: diva2:906199
Forever Young? The Changing Images of America, European Association for American Studies, Dublin, Ireland