Byting commentary: depictions of postmodern society in the early novels of Douglas Coupland
LE3 .A278 2005
La Roque, Lance
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
The 1990s saw the advent of the Internet and communication technology and its capacity for information exchange; a dramatic escalation of corporate power; the brand name labelling of youth; the commodification of experiences; and the intrusion of media into personal and public space. The early novels of Douglas Coupland,' Generation X, Shampoo Planet ', and 'Microserfs', document the impact of these factors on the psyche, behaviour, culture, identity, relationships, language, communication, and work of North American middle-class youth coming of age in postmodern society. With these novels, Douglas Coupland launches CanLit in a broad new direction, emerging as both Cassandra to and spokesman for a generation. His work verbalizes the conditions of postmodernity that have eroded traditional values and mores, but also offers alternative ways of coping. Coupland avoids nihilistic cynicism by having his characters piece together their sense of self and recover from the destruction around them. While Coupland points out that the postmodern world looms frighteningly close to a brave new one, his innovative novels provide slivers of redemption and hope for the future.
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