By Erik Mortenson
After contextualizing the postwar use of shadow imagery within the wake of the atomic bomb, Ambiguous Borderlands looks at shadows in print works, detailing the reemergence of the pulp fiction crime fighter the Shadow within the late-1950s writings of Sylvia Plath, Amiri Baraka, and Jack Kerouac. utilizing Freudian and Jungian conceptions of the subconscious, Mortenson then discusses Kerouac’s and Allen Ginsberg’s shared dream of a “shrouded stranger” and the way it formed their Beat aesthetic. Turning to the visible, Mortenson examines the dehumanizing impact of shadow imagery within the chilly battle images of Robert Frank, William Klein, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Mortenson concludes with an research of using chiaroscuro in Nineteen Fifties movie noir and the preferred tv series The Twilight Zone, extra detailing how the complexities of chilly conflict society have been reflected throughout those media within the ubiquitous imagery of sunshine and dark.
From comics to video clips, Beats to bombs, Ambiguous Borderlands provides a unique figuring out of the chilly struggle cultural context via its research of a dead ringer for the shadow in midcentury media. Its interdisciplinary method, bold subject material, and numerous theoretical framing make it crucial analyzing for an individual drawn to American literary and pop culture in the course of the fifties and sixties.
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A dead ringer for the shadow in mid-twentieth-century the United States seemed throughout various genres and media together with poetry, pulp fiction, images, and movie. Drawing on an intensive framework that levels from chilly conflict cultural histories to theorizations of psychoanalysis and the Gothic, Erik Mortenson argues that shadow imagery in Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties American tradition not just mirrored the anxiousness and ambiguity of the days but additionally provided an inventive house for artists to problem the binary rhetoric linked to the chilly battle.
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Ambiguous Borderlands: Shadow Imagery in Cold War American Culture by Erik Mortenson