Reading Simulacra

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Overview

Reading Simulacra analyzes the ways in which our culture has become fatally immersed in simulation. Television, the Internet, virtual reality, and other advancements in technology and information processing have brought about an order in which simulations and digital images permeate our experiences of the world so deeply that their distinctions from reality appear seamless. Through a careful study of some of the most important postmodern theorists, particularly Jean Baudrillard and Deleuze and Guattari, this book puts forth two different communication strategies - "seduction" and "rupture" - for a world where the difference between what is real and what is simulated has disappeared. In an attempt to discern meaning from this contemporary situation, M. W. Smith examines a range of contemporary texts that have, in the past, resisted traditional analysis. These include the O. J. Simpson trial, Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, Reese Williams's A Pair of Eyes, Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School and Don Quixote, Clarence Major's My Amputations, and Baudrillard's America - all of which represent the obscenity of hypersignified existence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791450635
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: SUNY series in Postmodern Culture Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction: Reading Simulacra: Toward a Bifocal Approach 1
Ch. 1 Fatal Strategies 13
Ch. 2 Nietzsche's Legacy: The Postmodern Will 29
Ch. 3 Seduction, Radical Semiurgy, and the Logic of the Code 41
Ch. 4 Technology and the (Dis)appearing Subject: Schizophrenia or Seduction? 65
Ch. 5 Dehistoricized Subjectivity: Reese Williams and the Schizoid Text 77
Ch. 6 Desire, Seduction, and Subjectivity in Kathy Acker's Novels: Blood and Guts in High School and Don Quixote 85
Ch. 7 Clarence Major's My Amputations: African American Identity and Simulacra 103
Ch. 8 Baudrillard's America: The Perfect Postmodern Object of Simulation 113
Ch. 9 Media Culture on the Verge of Drama: Hyperreal O. J. and Simulacra in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers 119
Notes 129
Bibliography 133
Index 137
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