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Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction

Lee Konstantinou
Format
Book
Published
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016.
Language
English
ISBN
9780674967885, 0674967887
Summary
"Cool Characters tells the story of American political irony from World War II to the present: how irony came to seem politically subversive for American countercultural rebels; how mainstream culture allegedly co-opted countercultural irony; how irony became part of major critical theories of postmodernism; and how -- starting in the late 1980s -- innovative writers developed an idea of "postirony" with the hope of overcoming the political limitations of postmodern irony. To chart the shift from irony to postirony, and show what relationship culture has to politics, the book offers intensive analyses of important American countercultural figures: the hipster, the punk, a figure the author calls "the believer, " the coolhunter, and the occupier; and new interpretations of important works by Ralph Ellison, Thomas Pynchon, William S. Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Michael Muhammad Knight, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Alex Shakar, William Gibson, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Lethem, and Rachel Kushner."--Provided by publisher.
Contents
  • Introduction: the character of irony
  • Part I. Irony: 1. The hipster as critic; 2. Punk's positive dystopia
  • Part II. Postirony: 3. How to be a believer; 4. The work of the coolhunter
  • Conclusion: Manic pixie dream occupier.
Description
xiii, 368 pages ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Introduction: the character of irony -- Part I. Irony: 1. The hipster as critic; 2. Punk's positive dystopia -- Part II. Postirony: 3. How to be a believer; 4. The work of the coolhunter -- Conclusion: Manic pixie dream occupier.
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    a| "Cool Characters tells the story of American political irony from World War II to the present: how irony came to seem politically subversive for American countercultural rebels; how mainstream culture allegedly co-opted countercultural irony; how irony became part of major critical theories of postmodernism; and how -- starting in the late 1980s -- innovative writers developed an idea of "postirony" with the hope of overcoming the political limitations of postmodern irony. To chart the shift from irony to postirony, and show what relationship culture has to politics, the book offers intensive analyses of important American countercultural figures: the hipster, the punk, a figure the author calls "the believer, " the coolhunter, and the occupier; and new interpretations of important works by Ralph Ellison, Thomas Pynchon, William S. Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Michael Muhammad Knight, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Alex Shakar, William Gibson, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Lethem, and Rachel Kushner."--Provided by publisher.
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    a| Irony x| Political aspects z| United States x| History.
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    a| Counterculture z| United States x| History.
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    a| Irony in literature.
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    a| Politics and culture z| United States x| History.
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    a| BH301 .I7 K66 2016 w| LC i| X031730968 k| CHECKEDOUT l| STACKS m| ALDERMAN t| BOOK
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