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By Saul Bellow

Kenneth Trachtenberg, the witty and whimsical narrator of extra Die ofHeartbreak, has left his local Paris for the Midwest. He has come to benear his loved uncle, the world-renowned botanist Benn Crader, self-described "plant visionary." whereas his stories take him around the globe, Benn, a stressed spirit, has now not been capable of fulfill his longings after his first marriage and lives from affair to affair and from "bliss to breakdown." Imagining settled lifestyles will finish his discomfort, Benn ties the knot back, beginning the door to a flood of latest torments. As Kenneth grapples together with his personal difficulties concerning his strange lady-friend Treckie, the 2 males attempt to work out why talented and clever humans constantly locate themselves "knee-deep within the rubbish of a private life."

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Circulating as such, Tara enacts the catachrestic logic of the objet a as, in Krips’s words, “a substitute for an object constituted retrospectively through the act of substitution” that, in turn, “creates the false impression that there was something . . ”6 To be sure, Gone with the Wind is not the first text to conjure an Old South as nostalgic compensation for present deprivations. But no cultural text has ever done it better or more completely. Tara is the sim-plantation that all real plantations of the tourist industry strive to reproduce, an ineffable space toward which actual spaces of all kinds are mobilized, a platonic ideal that quotidian objects of all sorts, from wedding cake toppers to Barbie dolls, strive to represent.

4 Apter is not, however, speaking of Tara per se, but of the fetish, and in reading the former through the analytical lens of the latter, I hope to account for what I regard as the narrative’s fundamental rearrangement of (southern) culture from a default condition coding and regulating desire to an object in itself desirable, if never fully attainable. ” Within this economy, the fetish acquires two analogues central to my project: the commodity and the simulacrum. ” Just so, I argue, with Tara: no one ever fully buys into it, which is not to say that no one buys it.

42 But a world so connected is an affront to narrative, and, as it turns out, an affront to Todd and Anna as well: however capriciously, the episode recuperates disarray as a form of order. ”) Critically, we would judge Anna’s conclusion of a southern way of life as having a tacked-on quality. But whatever its aesthetic shortcomings, Anna uses the South to tell a story about her weekend, just as she uses her weekend to fabricate a location of culture. In its broad contours, as I hope to show in the chapters that follow, this logic informs as well more substantive and compelling narratives of cultural reproduction.

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