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Anthony Reynolds Presents at the 2013 American Comparative Literature Association Conference

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Hiro Gift ShopAnthony Reynolds presented his paper, “Hiroshima Gift Shop: On the Global Commodification of Traumatic Aesthetics,” at The 2013 American Comparative Literature Association Conference at the University of Toronto. Writes Reynolds of the paper: “In their 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais and Marguerite Duras seek to document the inadequacy of Western models of representation for doing justice to the bombing of Hiroshima, whose historical immediacy is all but eclipsed in the inevitable idealization that attends the production of public knowledge. In post-war Japan however cultural symptoms of the historical trauma have gradually emerged in a variety of expressive forms over the years from modernist Butoh to the postmodernist Superflat movement that unites high art with consumer culture in an aesthetic that has entered commercial circulation in a range of global commodities including designer handbags. In my paper I pursue the question of this impasse in the cross-cultural or global circulation of traumatic representational models between the West and Japan, comparing the earlier failure of modernist models of Western representation in the context of Hiroshima (Resnais/Duras) with the more recent success of the postmodern Japanese aesthetic of Superflat as a pervasive global commodity (Murakami).”

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