The Devil From Supermarket: images of postmodernity in T. Coraghessan Boyle's collection after the Plague: Stories

Dogan M.

14th Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium, Selcuk, Turkey, 15 - 17 October 2014, vol.158, pp.194-198 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 158
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.12.072
  • City: Selcuk
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.194-198


This paper addresses images of the everyday reality in T.C. Boyle's collection After the Plague as symbols of postmodern era. I argue that references and allusions to numerous everyday objects provided in Boyle's stories become symbols of the reality. Although the author doesn't directly depict the settings of his stories, he recounts objects that are distinctly denotative of a certain place (for example, in Friendly Skies Boyle describes the airplane through the images of paperback books, bagels and espresso cups, boarding passes etc.) or action (like the imagery of grocery shopping in the story After the Plague). These objects are often autonomous from each other and deprived of the direct references to their use. Through the plurality of these images Boyle defines the boundaries of his characters' existence and creates a postmodern setting, where illusion of reality is often more real than reality itself. The author not only suggests fragmentation of cultural and social spaces, but also gives an example of postmodern reality as a construct of images. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.