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After Yesterday's Crash: The Avant-Pop Anthology Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140240853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140240856
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,965,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Since the '60s, a number of authors have rejected the elitism of the avant-garde while still seeking to write experimental fiction. By substituting popular culture references for the standard academic list of canonical sources, they have forged a new fiction that is increasingly being called "avant-pop." This volume collects short fictions by a number of contemporary practitioners of the form, such as William T. Vollman, Ben Marcus, and Paul Auster, as well as works by authors who first made their mark 20 or 30 years ago, such as Robert Coover, Tom Robbins, and Don Delilo. Many fun, challenging stories are collected here in an interesting attempt at delimiting a movement.

From Publishers Weekly

The works collected in this anthology emerge from discussions of life and art in which discourse would be inconceivable without the prefix "hyper": hyperconsumption, hyperreality, hypertext. According to McCaffery (Storming the Reality Studio), Avant-Pop makes sense of the late-20th century mediascape through collage, improvisation and the "information-dense feel of advertising." What sets Avant-Pop apart from plain Pop, says McCaffery, is its practitioners' willingness to go beyond neutral presentation of the raw materials of pop culture to a more active transformation. The contributors vary widely from Steve Erickson, Don DeLillo, Paul Auster, Ron Sukenick, Rikki Ducornet, Euridice, Lynne Tillman (the last three equalling three fifths of the feminine representation in this collection of 32), SF writers William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and many cross-disciplinary artists like Guillermo Gomez-Pe?a. It's an uneven collection that seems to be bound together by narrative velocity, yet the most memorable work is notable for its stillness: Ben Marcus's poetic and movingly familiar guidebook to an alternate world, "False Water Society." This may be the first literary anthology that would have been significantly improved by a multimedia format encompassing moving images, hypertext and the many musical influences McCaffery cites as examples of Avant-Pop from Carl Stallings to Nirvana.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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By alexander laurence on April 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of stories and fiction excerpts from that sensibility defined as "Avant-Pop." I am not sure if it truly exists. It is supposed to be a mixture of high and low culture with an emphasis on pop imagery and hyper-consumption. A sort of loose category. Cyberpunk and post-moderns dominate in this collection, though Thomas Pynchon, Kathy ACker, and John Shirley are mistakeningly absent here. Yet they too are at least mentioned in the lengthy and overblown introduction by Larry McCaffery, which reads like a combination of Baudrillard leftovers and PBS post-modernism. It's a shame that the introduction is longer than some of the excerpts. Some of the stronger works here are by Rikki Ducornet, Paul Auster, William Vollmann, Lynne Tillman, Steve Erickson, Eurydice, and Bret Easton Ellis. Some of the visual artists like David Blair, Craig Baldwin, and Derek Pell are limited by the textual space; film always seems corrupted by textual translations.
Some pieces, like David Foster Wallace's "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar To Ecko" read like total nonsense. Other writers who are a continuation of Modernism seem out of place, but Robert Coover, Ron Sukenick, and Raymond Federman do stand out mainly due to their elegant styles. It's odd that Bret Ellis' "End of teh 1980s," from the novel American Psycho, strikes an important note with a human portrayal of someone trapped in the Society of The Spectacle in this context. Other stroies here seem quite comfortable in the info-babble of our overwrought times. Definitely an intense reading experience nonetheless.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are not familar with the such jargon as "bleeding edge" or "indie avant-garde" then perhaps you've missed the "avant-pop" movement. As a movement, it seems to take where the Beats left off --Burrough's transgressive streaks meet an eye for pop culture--and also seem to merge pop culture with European aesthetic movements such as dada and situationalism. This anthology is dominated by cyberpunk and the younger generation of post-modernsts of the 1970's and 1980's. As another reviewer mentioned, there are several key authors missing, such as the late Kathey Acker.

There is, of course, some very strong work by Don DeLillo, Willaim T. Vollmann, Robert Coovern and Paul Auster. These are also the tamer works that seem to work because they take risks while remaining lyrically smooth. There are several weak stories by good writers such as Bret Easton Ellis and the normally amazing David Foster Wallace.

Some of the pictoral/film work does not really transfer well to this medium. I would also just skim the introduction by Larry McCaffery, which is worth while for the quotes and little else.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
It was simply brilliant. It brings out the aethethics that you would find in an independant film while swallowing your emotions whole. I, personnally, found it very sensual and exotic in a wretched-suberbia way.
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