Nostalgic Experiments Memory in Anne Carson’s Nox and Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams’ S.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The article discusses a tendency towards “media nostalgia” in contemporary experimental literary works.Authors such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Reif Larsen, Anne Carson, Steven Hall, Umberto Eco, J.J. Abramsand Doug Dorst include images, drawing and photographs in their works, or they experiment with the visualand material qualities of writing and the book. The tendency can be explained as a reflection of the mediadevelopment: The experimental texts draw attention to the book in an age where it can no longer be takenfor granted. They recall an avant-garde aesthetics, but whereas the avant-garde is associated with ideas offuture and progress, the new texts generally focus on issues of memory and the past. I argue that they are alsoabout memory at a media level; “remembering” the book. I explore this tendency by analyzing Anne Carson’sNox (2009) and S. (2013) by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams. Both works recall the aesthetics of ‘rare books’,scrapbooks and artists’ books. They celebrate the book as an auratic object and as an old medium while alsoembracing the contemporary media culture. Paradoxically, they are thus characterized by a ‘manufacturedaura’ – yellowing pages to be bought anytime, anywhere at Amazon.com.

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • Aarhus University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Literature Studies

Keywords

  • Intermediality, Cultural Memory, Experimental literature, Nostalgia, the book
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalImage [&] Narrative
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes