domingo, 13 de febrero de 2011


From the very beginning of its history, America has been promoted as a sort of New Paradise. More than three centuries later, a novel, a film and a multimedia project reflect how three American artists -with very different backgrounds- relate the idea of Paradise to that of their own country at the time of their works. This paper is going to analyse three works of the 1980's (Oh What a Paradise it Seems (1982), John Cheever’s last novel, Stranger than Paradise (1984), one of the earliest films by Jim Jarmusch and Laurie Anderson's multimedia project Home of the Brave (1986), consisting of a film and a music CD) with the aim of locating and comparing some of the critical issues in the relationship between America and Paradise that arises from those works. In doing so, this essay will be dealing with the idea of Paradise as a twofold concept: on the one hand, it will function as the projection of a mythical and perfectly organized space in contrast to which some portraits of America will be depicted; on the other hand, it will be constantly pointing at the fact that the expelling of this mythical space is one of the most prominent features regarding the construction of the western cultures’ identities. Another relevant aspect of the paper will be the focus on the intertwining between the mythical narratives of Paradise and the particular politics through which the three artists interfere and distort these narratives. The paper aims also to analyse the strategies Laurie Anderson, Jim Jarmusch and John Cheever use to challenge the perpetuation of those fixed narratives and trace in their works the presence of critical approaches such as the feminist, the ecologist and the aesthetics of absurdity.

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