The Real, Imaginary and Possible in Robert Coover’s Short Story “Stick Man” (2005)

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Abstract

In the context of Baudrillard’s theory of simulacra, this paper analyzes Robert Coover’s depiction of different versions of “reality” as manifested in his short story “Stick Man”. The paper argues that through the depiction of transworld characters oscillating between different ontological levels and modes of representation, Coover

  1. treats the relation between fiction and reality,

  2. deals, in the context of some post-structuralist theories, with a question of representation connected especially with the relation between language and reality,

  3. parodies celebrity culture, mass media manipulation of the audience and consumerism as important aspects of contemporary (American) culture, and points out the replacement of the representation by “simulation” in the contemporary technologically advanced world.

Baudrillard, Jean. “Simulacra and Simulations.” Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed Mark Poster. Stanford University Press, 1998, pp.166-184. Available at: <www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/Baudrillard/Baudrillard_Simulacra.html> Accessed October 20th, 2017.

Coover, Robert. A Child Again. San Francisco: McSweeney´s Books, 2005.

Dolezel, Lubomir. “Mimesis and Possible Worlds”, Poetics Today 9.3 (1988), pp. 475-496.

Harsaw (Hrushovski), Benjamin. “Fictionality and Fields of Reference: Remarks on a Theoretical Framework”, Poetics Today 5.2 (1984), pp. 227-251.

McHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. London: Routledge, 1987.

Pavel, Thomas G. Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.

Ronen, Ruth. Possible Worlds in Literary Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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