This book is a full-length study of Douglas Coupland, one of the twenty-first century's most innovative and influential novelists. It explores the prolific first decade-and-a-half of his career, from Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture (1991) to JPod (2006), a period in which he published ten novels and four significant volumes of non-fiction. Emerging in the last decade of the twentieth century—amidst the absurd contradictions of instantaneous global communication and acute poverty—Coupland's novels, short stories, essays, and visual art have intervened in specifically contemporary debates regarding authenticity, artifice, and art. This book explores Coupland's response, in ground-breaking novels such as Microserfs, Girlfriend in a Coma and Miss Wyoming, to some of the most pressing issues of our times.
communication. It is also incredible that Julia
should knowingly ignore such a devastating and sad situation as evidence
suggests that she was assiduously conscious of the suffering of others. On
13 March 1850, just nine months before the Marx family took up residence at 28 Dean Street, in December, Julia, then in residence at Allason
Terrace, wrote to the wife of W. S. Williams, requesting funds to help
My dear Mrs. Williams,
I know your kind heart and liberal feeling. I know also that you are so
happy as to possess liberal and influential friends, and I
of magnetic communication that manages to be simultaneously physical and spiritual. In Rossetti’s verse it is women who are magnetisers and who exert their powers over men. In an essay on 1868 Swinburne picks up the word ‘draw’ from ‘Body’s Beauty’ to write of Lilith in the picture that partners the sonnet: ‘She is indifferent, equable, magnetic; she charms and draws down the souls of men by pure force of absorption … and because of this she attracts all men at once in body and in spirit’ (Swinburne 1875a, 375–6). In Rossetti’s love poetry, we tend to move from
text and ‘the text’ without soaring into abstraction, or
forgetting that the text can only signify in interaction with a reader,
or neglecting the fact that, as words on paper, text is a very special
form of communication.
The linguistic model
The basic premise on which the
structuralist approach to literature is founded is succinctly summed up
in Barthes’s ‘Introduction to the
wasteful war shall statues overturn, And broils root out the work of masonry, Nor Mars his sword, nor war’s quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. ’Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth, your praise shall still find room, Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgement that yourself arise, You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes. 30
I want to suggest that the success of the poem’s ‘communication
unfamiliar (the innovatory) and the familiar (the
conventional or traditional). Both are necessary because some degree of
redundancy is essential for any message to be committed to memory’
(12). Implicit in Waugh’s discussion here is a linguistic model of
communication. Speech usually contains some redundancy in order to
guarantee its message is not lost. So too does literature, but literary
texts don’t need
controversial political associations of Futurism have probably constituted
the most problematic and widely discussed aspect of the movement, an
issue often omitted by the artists. Yet, Buvoli acknowledges the unsettled
political debate and invites the viewer to ponder on the issues of control,
communication and the fine line that separates art and propaganda in order
‘to explore the thin line separating idealism and delusion and the parallels
with demagogic strategies used today by media-driven societies’ (Poggi and
Buvoli 2009: 56–9). Buvoli’s international recognition
substitution, rather than love,
and while there is affection, there is no passion and very little communication.
Ellie’s affair with Florian, on the other hand, is passionate, but since Florian
has resolved to leave Ireland, the transience of the relationship is apparent from
the beginning. Miss Connulty is the victim of moral rules that lead to the loss
of not only her lover, but also her unborn child and her mother’s love. Orpen
Wren’s emotional investment is reserved for the family in whose service he spent
most of his life though they have been long gone from Rathmoye
. Television as communication, and television as a mode in which to perform communication and its failures aesthetically, invite further historicization in which Beckett’s work constitutes a complex and illuminating example.
A methodology to be avoided, however, is one where a discourse of developmental progression and an invocation of Beckett’s authority work to stabilise and unify screen works that are significantly different, and where intertextual reference outwards to other texts and media, as well as intratextual relationships between Beckett
created at a certain point in one’s development – that it is not something that one is born with, so to speak, but is made as a result of certain life experiences. It is also clear that the unconscious is created and indeed populated at an early age. If our unconscious is us, what or who we are just inasmuch as we do not know what or who we are, it, the unconscious, is us as children, ourselves as ghosts of the past.
Melanie Klein and Jean Laplanche have written powerfully on the idea that ignorance is also the basis of human (mis)communication