The Impossible David Lynch

Todd McGowan

Columbia University Press

The Impossible David Lynch

Pub Date: February 2007

ISBN: 9780231139557

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£28.00

Pub Date: February 2007

ISBN: 9780231139540

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£78.00

The Impossible David Lynch

Todd McGowan

Columbia University Press

Todd McGowan launches a provocative exploration of weirdness and fantasy in David Lynch's groundbreaking oeuvre. He studies Lynch's talent for blending the bizarre and the normal to emphasize the odd nature of normality itself. Hollywood is often criticized for distorting reality and providing escapist fantasies, but in Lynch's movies, fantasy becomes a means through which the viewer is encouraged to build a revolutionary relationship with the world.

Considering the filmmaker's entire career, McGowan examines Lynch's play with fantasy and traces the political, cultural, and existential impact of his unique style. Each chapter discusses the idea of impossibility in one of Lynch's films, including the critically acclaimed Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man; the densely plotted Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive; the cult favorite Eraserhead; and the commercially unsuccessful Dune. McGowan engages with theorists from the "golden age" of film studies (Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey, and Jean-Louis Baudry) and with the thought of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Hegel. By using Lynch's weirdness as a point of departure, McGowan adds a new dimension to the field of auteur studies and reveals Lynch to be the source of a new and radical conception of fantasy.
A well written book combining thoughtful Lynch essays for the thinkers and film fanatics! Horror News
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Sacrificing One's Head for an Eraser
2. The Integration of the Impossible Object in The Elephant Man
3. Dune and the Path to Salvation
4. Fantasizing the Father in Blue Velvet
5. The Absence of Desire in Wild at Heart
6. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
7. Finding Ourselves on a Lost Highway
8. The Ethics of Fantasizing in The Straight Story
9. Navigating Mulholland Drive, David Lynch's Panegyric to Hollywood
Conclusion: The Ethics of Fantasy
Notes
Index

About the Author

Todd McGowan is associate professor of English at the University of Vermont.