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David Cronenberg
Author or Film-maker?
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

For more than 30 years, David Cronenberg has produced films, mostly outside the Studio system, which continue to disturb, surprise and challenge audiences. He has also been repeatedly drawn to literary fiction for inspiration, adapting works by figures like William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Patrick McGrath.

This book is only the second single-authored study on Cronenberg and as well as containing the first detailed analysis of eXistenZ (1999) Spider (2003) and A History of Violence (2005), it is the first to explore how understanding certain written texts, from both underground and mainstream fiction, can help us understand how Cronenberg`s films work.

Cronenberg's literary aesthetic is discussed via the process of adaptation, not just in relation to overt source material but also writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Brett Easton Ellis and Clive Barker. The book examines how Cronenberg’s literary influences function, particularly in terms of narrative structures and suggests the nature of their importance for Cronenberg in his conception of the director as auteur. It also considers the current state of adaptation studies and the need to move beyond conventional psychological frameworks in film analysis more broadly and Cronenberg's work in particular.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'Videodrome: "Not a love story - a film about pornography"' - Page 57
Mark Browning
Chapter 2: 'Dead Ringers: "Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair"' - Page 81
Mark Browning
Chapter 3: 'Naked Lunch: "Nothing is true: everything is permitted"' - Page 109
Mark Browning
Chapter 4: 'Crash: "Not a film about pornography - a love story"' - Page 133
Mark Browning
Chapter 5: 'eXistenZ: "Thou the player of the game art God"' - Page 157
Mark Browning
Chapter 6: '"The child in time": Time and space in Cronenberg's Spider' - Page 179
Mark Browning
'David Cronenberg is an essential read for anyone interested in the symbiotic relationship between literature and filmmaking.' – Video Canada

'David Cronenberg is a work that attempts to illuminate and unravel the connection between the great Canadian auteur and his literary influences' – Film Snob Weekly

'The end result is an illuminating look at a consummate artist who immerses himself not only in the source of his narratives, but as Browning neatly demonstrates, the author too.' – Michael Dalton, M/C Reviews

'The book manages to open up the study of Cronenberg's films by applying an original often analytical framework that is quite different from the more prevalent psychoanalytical one used, perhaps too often, in relation to this director's work. A fresh revelation, indeed. ' – Nathalie Brillon, Screening the Past

'The author engages in a relentless search for sources that might enable readers to understand the director’s work more fully.' – Literature, Film and Art Association Newsletter, Chicago

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