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Self-fashioning, freedom, and the problem of his-story: the return of noir


Loren, Scott (2008). Self-fashioning, freedom, and the problem of his-story: the return of noir. European Journal of American Studies, 3(1):1-12.

Abstract

This article considers the theme of self-fashioning in film noir through an analysis of Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past (1947) and, as a distant remake, David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (2005). It addresses ways in which subjectivity is determined socially, considering historical notions of freedom and self-fashioning, Lacanian notions of subjectivity, and a crisis in masculine authority that marked the classic noir period and contributed to moralizing about the possibility of escaping one's past and reinventing oneself. By readdressing noir's depiction of the American myth of self-fashioning, Cronenberg develops a narrative field that returns to portrayals of gendered authority in order to consider how they might be renegotiated.

Abstract

This article considers the theme of self-fashioning in film noir through an analysis of Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past (1947) and, as a distant remake, David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (2005). It addresses ways in which subjectivity is determined socially, considering historical notions of freedom and self-fashioning, Lacanian notions of subjectivity, and a crisis in masculine authority that marked the classic noir period and contributed to moralizing about the possibility of escaping one's past and reinventing oneself. By readdressing noir's depiction of the American myth of self-fashioning, Cronenberg develops a narrative field that returns to portrayals of gendered authority in order to consider how they might be renegotiated.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords:history, Film Noir, Ahistoricism, Freedom, Jouissance, Masculinity, Self-fashioning, Subjectivity, Symbolic, Violence
Language:English
Date:28 January 2008
Deposited On:05 Sep 2018 15:32
Last Modified:05 Sep 2018 16:04
Publisher:European Association for American Studies
ISSN:1991-9336
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4000/ejas.1842
Related URLs:https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/43512/ (Organisation)

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