3 research outputs found

    Weird Decentering: The Unnatural in H.P. Lovecraft\u27s At the Mountains of Madness

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    The \u27weird fiction\u27 of H.P. Lovecraft has frustrated any attempt to place the author safely in the canons of genre fiction. Writing in the brief period of 1917 - 1937 with a keen mind towards the era\u27s scientific discoveries, Lovecraft\u27s stories about cosmic horror, insanity, and inhumanity cultivated the author no fame during his lifetime. The weirdness of his \u27weird fiction\u27 derives from a unique combination of science, supernatural, metaphysics, and speculation all in service of the decentering and reduction of mankind on a cosmic scale. The mythology maintained across Lovecraft\u27s numerous short stories depicts a world that is determined to undermine the ideals and arrogant assumptions of twentieth-century rationality, a nightmarish undoing of everything that could have been called human or humanity. The mo t merciful thing in the world ... , Lovecraft wrote, is the inability of man to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far (The Call of Cthulhu 381)

    The Hero Industry: Spectacular Pacification in the Era of Media Interactivity

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    In Ben Fountain’s 2012 novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Half­time Walk, the titular US soldier and the Bravo squad become canonized Iraq War heroes when their rescue attempt is captured on digital video. In recognition of their bravery, their tour of duty is halted for an American media stint that culminates in their participation during the 2004 Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving halftime show. This celebratory return allows the proud American public to interact with the heroes from the video, subsumed, however they may be, by the militarized media spectacle and abstracted into icons of precious, simplified mean­ing. Commodities like War Hero Billy Lynn are a neces­sary product when images of postmodern warfare do not bring a nation’s culture any grounding, pacifying sense of meaning. Better than a mere screen, Billy is alive; he can be touched. Endowed with the experiential knowledge of soldier subjectivity, he becomes a ready vessel brought close for an American public to inhabit . .

    Book Review: A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames

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    Review: A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames, by Brendan Keogh. MIT Press. 2018. ISBN: 978026203763