Attraction, Death, and Digital Jouissance in Robert Coover’s A Night at the Movies

Attraction, Death, and Digital Jouissance in Robert Coover’s A Night at the Movies pAmELA mAnsutti A Night at the Movies, or, You Must Remember This (1987) is a collection of short fictions written by Robert Coover during the late seventies and early eighties and miscellaneously published in 1987.1 In comparison to Coover's more overtly sociopolitical works--The Public Burning (1977), which denounces the social fascism of the American establishment through the narration of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's execution, and The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. (1968), where the thirst for individual power leads to solipsism and demise--A Night at the Movies engages with a comprehensive media discourse that was redefining its theories and boundaries at the delicate crossroads of the Ford-Carter-beginning-of-Reagan's eras, between 1974 and 1981--the years when Coover wrote his stories. This was a time when global communication networks were being shaped (Turner founded CNN in 1980) and the Federal Communications Commission had begun to implement programming on, and diffusion of, basic cable television via satellite, positing the basis for a (quasi-)deregulated media proliferation.2 In parallel, a growing use of computer graphics in film and photography introduced digital image processing into analog practices (materializing bodies and objects over a given filmed background), so that new notions of reproducibility http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

Attraction, Death, and Digital Jouissance in Robert Coover’s A Night at the Movies

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University of Nebraska Press
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Copyright © symploke.
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1534-0627
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Abstract

pAmELA mAnsutti A Night at the Movies, or, You Must Remember This (1987) is a collection of short fictions written by Robert Coover during the late seventies and early eighties and miscellaneously published in 1987.1 In comparison to Coover's more overtly sociopolitical works--The Public Burning (1977), which denounces the social fascism of the American establishment through the narration of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's execution, and The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. (1968), where the thirst for individual power leads to solipsism and demise--A Night at the Movies engages with a comprehensive media discourse that was redefining its theories and boundaries at the delicate crossroads of the Ford-Carter-beginning-of-Reagan's eras, between 1974 and 1981--the years when Coover wrote his stories. This was a time when global communication networks were being shaped (Turner founded CNN in 1980) and the Federal Communications Commission had begun to implement programming on, and diffusion of, basic cable television via satellite, positing the basis for a (quasi-)deregulated media proliferation.2 In parallel, a growing use of computer graphics in film and photography introduced digital image processing into analog practices (materializing bodies and objects over a given filmed background), so that new notions of reproducibility

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symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 7, 2011

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