Essence, difference and assimilation in Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead
accumulates which exposes the
latent threat of the state and allied sectors. Waters delineates how
easily identity politics can be appropriated by these forces as
ideological cover for oppression. Thus, the satire is not a cheap, or
indeed illiberal, gibe, but works as part of this unmasking.
There are various levels and
strategies of reading that can be applied to this text, which mediate
Revisioning the family in Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls
italics), Jason is the
required component which will transform a childless couple into a
family. As the coda to the handwritten note on his basket betrays, his
adoption is not altruistic but egotistical and selfish. The family of
Jason, despite its New-Age credentials, is arguably as illiberal and as
alienating as Creech’s dour single-parent theocracy.
Jason, indeed, is depicted as little more than a
Gothic fiction is bound up with the function of the paternal figure, an effect of and an engagement with a crisis in its legitimacy and authority, with tremors in its orchestration of symbolic boundaries and distinctions, with disruptions to its heterogeneous maintenance of cultural values and mores, with challenges to the way it presides unseen over the structured circulation of social exchanges and meanings. More precisely, it can be defined as a transgression of the paternal metaphor. The return to simple domesticity, recommended in the Gothic romance since Ann Radcliffe, seems to banish the spectres of romantic fancy. With the exposure and expulsion of those fictional spectres comes a more sustained interrogation of the assumptions and illusions supporting familial and social relations. Sigmund Freud's account of the father does not end with his murder. The psychological and cultural consequences of the act are extensive.