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Alex Paknadel

Photo of Alex PaknadelMy thesis was concerned with the protean nature of nostalgia in the novels of J.G. Ballard and Douglas Coupland. Although these authors’ approaches to this complex feeling differ greatly, their mutual suspicion of it places them in dialogue with one another in fascinating ways. Both authors, I proposed, are engaged in an attempt to penetrate the nostalgic gauze preventing them from seeing the truth behind an accelerated western culture whose anxieties have sent many scurrying into largely fictional “simpler times.” However, the “truth” they and their protagonists uncover is often equally nostalgic. It was my contention that nostalgia and homesickness are inescapable, even (and in some cases especially) when there is a concerted effort to forget.

After completing my PhD, I intend to conduct post-doctoral research into contemporary horror films and national identity. I will be interrogating the films of Richard Stanley (South Africa), Guillermo Del Toro (Mexico), Michele Soavi (Italy) and David Cronenberg (Canada) for this purpose. My one claim to fame is that Del Toro himself gave me his blessing for this project.

Alex graduated in 2011.

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The Flash Journal is an undergraduate run termly journal which publishes fiction, poetry, critical and hybrid work by current Lancaster undergrads. Go to Flash»

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