Richard Flanagan’s novel, The Unknown Terrorist, does not only depict terrorism and violence but especially contemporary postmodern life in an Australian urban setting influenced by media, information technologies and consumerism. Drawing on Jean Baudrillard’s theory of simulacra and simulation, this paper analyses Flanagan’s depiction especially of the main character, the Doll, and the way she symbolically represents various aspects of the process of simulation as understood by Baudrillard. In this context, the Doll and other characters are understood as subjects both manipulating and manipulated by the simulated image of reality represented by media and technology, the image which replaces physical reality. The imagery of manipulation is understood as a metaphor implying a critique of hypocrisy and consumerism of the contemporary urban setting in the technologically advanced society represented by the Australian city of Sydney.
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
treats the relation between fiction and reality,
deals, in the context of some post-structuralist theories, with a question of representation connected especially with the relation between language and reality,
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.
This paper analyses the depiction of the main female protagonists of Catherine Temma Davidson’s novel The Priest Fainted (1998) in the context of the symbolic formation of the hybrid identity of the main female character and narrator which is close to Bill Ascroft’s concept of the transnation. The author of this paper analyses Davidson’s depiction of three generations of female protagonists with a Greek cultural background and the way they symbolically represent the transition from a traditional diasporic identity (the narrator’s grandmother), through multicultural and transnational identity (her mother) up to the identity close to the concept of the transnation as defined by Bill Aschroft (the narrator herself). At the same time, the formation of such a cultural identity is understood as a symbolic formation of female independence and the rejection of a patriarchal society, religious bigotry and conservative values as represented, in the narrator’s and her mother’s view, by contemporary Greece.
This article analyzes three narrative lines as depicted in Richard Powers’ Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (1985) and the way his depiction of real, photographed, present and past characters along with a narrative reference to a photograph create a metafictional and intertextual frameworks through the use of which Powers symbolically points out a sensibility of the late 20th century and its difference from early 20th century related to the vision of the world, understanding of reality, art, and history. In addition, the article emphasizes Powers’ use of postmodern allegory and the way it creates another meaning which points out a commercial and consumerist character of the 20th century and which also symbolically represents a history of technical and artistic depiction of the world.
David Foster Wallace’s fiction is often considered to be an expression of the new American fiction emerging in the late 1980s, the authors of which expressed a certain distance from the dehumanised and linguistically constructed subject of postmodern fiction, and which depicted individuals influenced by mass media, pop culture and technology in technologically advanced American society. David Foster Wallace’s short story Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko (1999), however, was also included in the Avant-Pop Anthology (Larry McCaffery, L., eds. After Yesterday’s Crash: The Avant-Pop Anthology. London, New York: Penguin, 1995). Some other critics (Adam Kelly, for example) consider him to be an author who expresses New Sincerity in his depiction of reality, which is a tendency in fiction trying to depict human experience and emotions through the use of language and which does not emphasise the human subject and experience to be a product of the interplay of signifiers as understood by Deconstruction criticism and many postmodern authors. This paper will analyse David Foster Wallace’s use of narrative strategies that are connected with postmodern narrative techniques and, at the same time, the way they express a distance from them through a depiction of human experience as interactive communication between human subjects. In addition, the paper will analyse the poetics of the new sincerity as part of contemporary postpostmodern sensibility. That is why I use the term sensicerity to express a combination of the new sensibility and sincerity.