Reading: An American Book of the Dead: Media and the Unconscious in Vineland

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An American Book of the Dead: Media and the Unconscious in Vineland

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John Johnston

Emory University
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Abstract

Vineland is primarily concerned with how film, television and computer technologies shape not only contemporary experience but also the novel itself as a literary form that must inscribe and reflect upon the effects these media produce. Vineland offers a Janus-faced view of America in the 1980s: it looks back to a period when social revolution "went blending into commerce" and "the highest state of the analogue arts [was] soon to be eclipsed by digital technology" (VI 308); and it looks forward, on the technological horizon, to a media assemblage in which all information is digital and mediated through the computer interface. In the meantime, Vineland's present is defined by a contemporary media assemblage much like what Friedrich Kittler calls a "partially connected media system."
How to Cite: Johnston, J., (1994). An American Book of the Dead: Media and the Unconscious in Vineland. Pynchon Notes. (34-35), pp.20–37. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.196
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Published on 22 Sep 1994.
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