Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in : present pasts in 20 years of american TV serial fiction from northern Eeposure to mad men

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Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in : present pasts in 20 years of american TV serial fiction from northern Eeposure to mad men

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in : present pasts in 20 years of american TV serial fiction from northern Eeposure to mad men
Author(s) Høg Hansen, Anders
Date 2013
English abstract
This article investigates the representation of memory and dream in selected American TV serial fiction concentrating on 1990s shows that blended the real, the surreal and the supernatural. Departing from Northern Exposure, and moving on to Twin Peaks and The X Files, these shows embarked on an extensive use of vision, dream and memory themes to portray, I argue, negotiations between what Jan Assmann coined communicative and cultural memory (Jan Assmann 1995, 2010). While Twin Peaks and The X Files concentrated on the dark undercurrents or repressed forms of American belief and anxiety, Northern Exposure took a more benevolent route, re-imagining and rewriting alternative American aspirations of belief and coexistence. Key protagonists were portrayed as exiled individuals engaging with their pasts and the communities of which they became part of or estranged from while on roads to self-discovery. Carl Jung’s writings formed an inspirational body of thinking for the shows, perhaps most explicitly in Northern Exposure, which also elaborated on Jungian visions of a shared humanity among the many differences inside and between humans. All shows elaborated on the consequences of opening oneself to dimensions of life that formed the shadows (Jung 1958, 1959), human duplex or doubling (Jung 1958), as well as the unused potential of imagination in Western modernity. Roads to self-discovery involving repressed or difficult memory work were also spelled out during the first seasons of a very different contemporary show, MadMen. This show will be brought into discussion at the end of the article where I elaborate on the consequences of particular forms of American dreaming.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2013.736952 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Journal of Media and Cultural Studies;1
Volume 27
ISSN 1030-4312
Pages 141-159
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) memory
dream
TV
fiction
narrative
identity
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/14526 (link to this page)

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