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Between Nostalgic Resistance and Critical Appropriation

Contemporary American Fiction on/of the Information Age and the Potentials of (Post)Humanist Narrative

Regina Schober

Pages 359 - 379


This essay examines four contemporary American novels on the information age and its effects on (post)human identity and agency, transformations of knowledge, a changed media environment, and the role of America in transnational geopolitical complexities: Dan Chaon’s ‚Await Your Reply‘ (2009), Jennifer Egan’s ‚A Visit from the Goon Squad‘ (2010), Gary Shteyngart’s ‚Super Sad True Love Story‘ (2010), and Dave Eggers’ ‚The Circle‘ (2013). The four novels mark a recent trend in contemporary fiction in displaying a “metamodern” ambivalence between resisting a data-driven consumer culture while at the same time incorporating new media aesthetics and thus expressing a pragmatic willingness to adapt to such a culture (Vermeulen and van den Akker). By doing so, the novels stage themselves as new media’s complementary ‘other’ that both critically observes and fills the voids left by an informational media culture.


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