PJAS 12 Autumn-6

Paweł Stachura
What Was Expected of William Gibson’s Early Fiction: Themes in Negative Reception
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 12 (Autumn 2018), pp. 335-349

Abstract: The article presents various reader responses to Gibson’s early fiction, ranging from reviews, through general discussions of Gibson and cyberpunk, through writings by fans, to scholarly articles. Most of the texts under discussion are relatively recent. The aim of the analysis was to determine what is the function of Gibson’s work nowadays, and what stylistic and thematic features matter for today’s readers. The conclusion is that Gibson’s Neuromancer has been treated as an epic work, performing an “epic incantation” comparable to the functions and stylistics of Walt Whitman’s nation-building poetry, but critics have so far been preoccupied mostly with the ideological aspects of the novel, rather than its literary qualities.

Keywords: Neuromancer, cyberpunk, science fiction, reader response, reception study, horizon of expectations

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.12/2/2018.06

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