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By John Updike

Overview

The Coup describes violent occasions within the imaginary African country of Kush, a wide, landlocked, drought-ridden, sub-Saharan kingdom led through Colonel Hakim Félix Ellelloû. (“A leader,” writes Colonel Ellelloû, “is one that, out of insanity or goodness, takes upon himself the woe of a humans. There are few males so foolish.”)

Colonel Ellelloû has 4 better halves, a silver Mercedes, and a enthusiast aversion—cultural, ideological, and personal—to the us. however the U.S. retains creeping into Kush, and the repercussions of this incursion represent the occasions of the novel.

Colonel Ellelloû tells his personal story—always elegantly, and infrequently within the 3rd person—from an undisclosed situation within the South of France.

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Similarly, many of the concerns about the new form’s status as art focused on the photograph’s mechanical origin, equating the work it produced with the products of the factory or the assembly line. This discourse inevitably reveals underlying anxieties about class and gender: “Photography’s frequent figuration as mechanical work and its association with menial labor were obviously in part the consequence of anxiety about the wide social range of photographers and no doubt contributed to its metaphoric evolution as a product of science rather than art between the mid and late nineteenth century” (42).

13 The novelist, by this logic, seems to face a difficult decision between being a marginalized cultural figure and contributing to the novel’s marginality, a double-edged choice rendered particularly remarkable given Doctorow’s own relationship with film. Thus, writers and critics from across the ideological spectrum have suggested for decades that the novel is declining, has declined, should be laid to rest, is in need of revival, or some combination thereof. Some of those Three Discourses on the Age of Television | 23 concerned about the novel’s obsolescence blame the rise of poststructuralist theory; some blame overproduction; some blame the changing technological climate.

S. culture. As these complaints would have it, the television set itself is a machine that distances us from humanity, encouraging us to think of ourselves as machines; the televisual product is a spectacle, distracting us from the “real”; the television broadcasting system is a network of one-way connections that destroys our ability to speak back to the sources of power while providing that power with a terrifying means of control and surveillance. But by reading closely, we can uncover in diatribes about the evils of television the attempt to protect an elite and elitist culture from the incursion of the viewing masses; the true terror of television for many of these writers is not the screen or the content, but the boobs who watch it.

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