Development of the Tech-Noir Film: A Theory of the Development of Popular Genres in Fiction and Film

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This book examines Tech-Noir as a distinct literary and cinematic genre. It provides a comprehensive comparative historical analysis of the development of Tech-Noir in
relation to other established genres and attempts to define the parameters of the
definition of Tech-Noir.


“an essential book for all students of contemporary film and popular culture...”
-Prof. Peter R. Schmidt, University of Florida

“a sophisticated discussion of Tech- Noir, analyzing its characteristics and demonstrating the ways it builds on earlier materials.”
-Prof. Judith B. Kerman, Saginaw Valley State University

From the Foreword:
“one of the finest studies of our dystopian imagination in popular entertainment. [Dr. Auger’s] brilliant discussion of the genre and the theory behind the genre is perceptive, well-grounded in theory, and simply fascinating to read.”
­-Prof. Gary Hoppenstand, Michigan State University

Table of Contents

by Gary Hoppenstand


Chapter 1: Method and Models
Realms of Experience and Genre
Discourse and Genre
Applications -Oedipus
-Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Tale (1764)
-Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Speckled Band" (1892)
-Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night (1948)
-William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984)
Popular Genres in Film

Chapter 2: The Promethean Message
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus (1818)
-Frankenstein (1931)
-Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
-Frankenstein (2004)
Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
-Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
-Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
-Jekyll and Hyde (1990)
-Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2002)
Herbert George Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
-The Island of Lost Souls (1932)
-The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
-The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Promethean Prototypes for Tech-Noir

Chapter 3: Tech-Noir
The Principal Elements
Mimicry and Mise-en-abyme
Dreaming in Tech-Noir
-The Abject
The Aesthetics of Good and Evil
Types of Tech-Noir
-Human Characters in a Technological World
-Human and "Artificial" Characters in a Technological World
-Plot Resolutions

Appendix 1:
Chart 1: Discourse in Popular Genres
Chart 2: The Oedipus Myth
Chart 3: Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1974)
Chart 4: Arthur C. Doyle's "The Speckled Band" (1892)
Chart 5: Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night (1948)
Chart 6: William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984)
Chart 7: The Prometheus Myth
Chart 8: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818)
Chart 9: Robert Whale's Frankenstein (1931)
Chart 10: Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
Chart 11: Marcus Nispel's Frankenstein (2004)

Appendix 2:
Tech-Noir Films by Date

Appendix 3:
Tech-Noir Films by Type

Selected Bibliography

Index 1: Film Titles
Index 2: Film Motifs

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