Monthly Archives: January 2011

Techno-Orientalism and the Matrix

In thinking about the virtual- and science- based fiction narrative, and its intersection with racial and postcolonial criticism, I questioned whether authors employ intentionality in making decisions regarding setting, theme, characters, and etc. While Nakamura’s article implies intentionality at least to a degree, especially for Gibson’s settings (64), and Stephenson’s cultural institutions (70), it seems that the rest of the story characteristics flow from the creative intuition. Continue reading

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On Reading Ashbery, Confusionism, and Intuitive Movement

Self-portrait in a convex Mirror

Image via Wikipedia

A common quality of the readings, excluding the commentaries on Ashbery, is the sort-of stream of consciousness style. I write “sort-of” because these essays and poem are considered, detailed, and meditative. However, the quality of movement within them is intuitive and more felt than structured. The intuitive movement is especially visible in the stanza breaks in Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” a movement from the painting to balloon (a shape similar to the convex mirror – but also to the dream in qualities of popping) to tomorrow to dreaming to the dream.  Continue reading

Shteyngart’s SSTLS as Commentary on International Relations

I am mostly impressed with Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story. Its reflection on and send-up of our current media-obsessed, gadget-driven culture seems a clear indictment of where we are headed if we continue in this direction, but I feel the author let a few things slip through the cracks. For instance, although Shteyngart addresses the issues of government contracting in its current form, it is highly improbable that a foreign corporation (Staatling-Wapachung Corporation) would ever win the sort of contract with the military he implies. The best example I can think of is the Air Force tanker plane contract, which eventually went to Boeing over McDonald-Douglas because of the latter’s use of an Airbus airframe. Continue reading