Simulations of paternal signification in Bret Easton Ellis's "American Psycho" and Chuch Palahniuk's "Fight Club"
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AbstractThis thesis argues that the novels American Pscyho by Bret Easton Ellis and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk present a vision of the late twentieth century West in which Oedipal paternal authority gives way in favour of a paternity of media and consumer culture. With reference to the writings of European psychoanalytic critic Slavoj Zizek, Jean Baudrillard's theories of simulacra and simulation, Christopher Lasch's writing on pathological narcissism, and Naomi Klein's writing on corporate branding, the thesis demonstrates that the resulting social climate represented by the novels is indeterminate for heterosexual males subjects. The metamorphosis of paternal signifiers into simulated signifiers result in male subjects without internalized authority. The novels ultimately dramatize an environment where the pathological narcissist has progressed from marginal affliction to a social norm.
Bibliography: p. 120-122