The Architecture of Fear: Discourses of spatiality and violence in American Psycho and Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis

Collins, Michael J (2006) The Architecture of Fear: Discourses of spatiality and violence in American Psycho and Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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This essay examines the ways in which Ellis uses space in his novels to explore the nature of experience in a climate of accelerated market capital, violent spectacle and the collapse of the private/public distinction that defines the postmodern epoch. This thesis draws upon critical and literary theory whose concern for spatiality, both architectural and psycho-geographical, has effected the epistemological, aesthetic and formal engagements of literary fiction engaging with postmodern urban experience. I will be exploring Ellis���¢��������s work in relation to Michel Foucault���¢��������s use of architecture as social control in Discipline and Punish, Guy Debord and the Situationists���¢�������� fusion of spatiality, aesthetics and market capitalism addressed in publications such as the Internationale Situationiste and Walter Benjamin���¢��������s romantic anti-capitalism and ���¢��������dialectics of seeing.���¢��������

In my readings of American Psycho and Lunar Park I will also demonstrate how violence in Bret Easton Ellis���¢��������s fiction is figured in terms inseparable from, and dominated by, spatial discourse and is used to reinforce his literary analysis of urban, and suburban space in these two novels, respectively. By refiguring Ellis���¢�������� work as a response to contemporary fears concerning urban space, I will show how this author uses and adapts older European and American literary traditions, such as the flaneur, the ���¢��������London walker,���¢�������� critical aesthetics and ���¢��������psychogeography���¢�������� to explore the psychological and social effects of a new cultural and geographical landscape upon the individual and to the engagements of American literature more broadly.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: postmodern literature, space, violence, critical theory
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 01:13

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