Instances of fame in postmodern fictional works an analysis based on Philip Roth’s and Marin Preda’s novels
Keywords:postmodernism, fame, utopia, dystopia, deconstruction, dandyism
This article will discuss multiple instances of fame in postmodern fictional works. The authors chosen are Philip Roth, the American author well known for works such as “I Married a Communist”, “The Human Stain”, “The Dying Animal” etc. and Marin Preda, the Romanian author who wrote “The Moromete Family”, “The Intruder”, “The Delirium”. The novels representing the postmodern literary current in this article are “American Pastoral (1997)” and “The Most Beloved of Earthlings (1980)”. Through a close analysis of the main characters and the most important events in the novel, the theme of fame will be observed in multiple instances such as the historical point of view, the sociological point of view, the psychological point of view. The first part of the article will introduce the reader to Philip Roth and one of his most famous novels “American Pastoral” in which the theme of fame suffers a metamorphosis because of the events that take place in the novel and therefore affect the main character. In this part the concept of deconstruction will be observed and conceptualized with examples from the novel, the depiction of the utopic world through the American dream, and finally, the transformation of this world into a dystopian one because of the social issues presented in the novel. The social issues presented are related to true historical events which took place in the 1960’s in America. These events are also represented in the micro universe of the main character through the family problems of the main character. The second part of the article will focus on a comparison between the main characters of the novels stated above, Seymour Levov respectively Victor Petrini. This comparison is based on the analysis of their physical and behavioral characteristics and finally, some significant events they are part of. In this section, the concept of dandy will be discussed, and relevant examples will be given to demonstrate that both have traits in this direction. This article aims to prove that the theme of fame in postmodern fictional works is a topic worth studying. It brings new viewpoints upon the American and Romanian postmodern works because of the complexity and multiplicity of concepts that come into its construction. Also, I intend to demonstrate how certain social issues, such as the impact of totalitarian regimes on society, influenced the writers to create works in which the effect of these problems is visible on successful people. The theme of fame in postmodern fictional works in these two novels encompasses myths and literary concepts, creating the impression of the perfect world for the perfect celebrity. Finally, the authors chose to transform everything into chaos and destroy this seducing illusion, converting fame into disgrace.
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