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Cyberpunk at the Intersection of the Postmodern and Science Fiction
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Virtual Geographies is the first detailed study to offer a working definition of cyberpunk within the postmodern force field. Cyberpunk emerges as a new generic cluster within science fiction, one that has spawned many offspring in such domains as film, music, and feminism. Its central features are its adherence to a version of virtual space and a deconstructivist, punk attitude towards (high) culture, modernity, the human body and technology, from computers to prosthetics. The main proponents of cyberpunk are analyzed in depth along with the virtual landscapes they have created - William Gibson’s Cyberspace, Pat Cadigan’s Mindscapes and Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse. Virtual reality is examined closely in all its aspects, from the characteristic narrative constructions employed to the esthetic implications of the ‘virtual sublime’ and its postmodern potential as a discursive mode. With its interdisciplinary approach Virtual Geographies opens up fresh perspectives for scholars interested in the interaction between popular culture and mainstream literature. At the same time, the science fiction fan will be taken beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre into such revitalizing domains as postmodern architecture and literature, and into cutting-edge aspects of science and social thought.
Author:
For decades postwar Austrian literature has been measured against and moulded into a series of generic categories and grand cultural narratives, from nostalgic ‘restoration’ literature of the 1950s through the socially critical ‘anti-Heimat’ novel to recent literary reckonings with Austria’s Nazi past. Peering through the lens of film adaptation, this book rattles the generic shackles imposed by literary history and provides an entirely new critical perspective on Austrian literature. Its original methodological approach challenges the primacy of written sources in existing scholarship and uses the distortions generated by the shift in medium as a productive starting point for literary analysis. Five case studies approach canonical texts in post-war Austrian literature by Gerhard Fritsch, Franz Innerhofer, Gerhard Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, and Robert Schindel, through close readings of their cinematic adaptations, concentrating on key areas of narratological concern: plot, narrative perspective, authorship, and post-modern ontologies. Setting the texts within the historical, cultural and political discourses that define the ‘Alpine Republic’, this study investigates fundamental aspects of Austrian national identity, such as its Habsburg and National Socialist legacies.