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Enemies Within the Cold War and the AIDS Crisis in Literature, Film, and Culture

by Jacqueline Foertsch

  • ISBN: 9780252026379
  • ISBN10: 0252026373

Enemies Within the Cold War and the AIDS Crisis in Literature, Film, and Culture

by Jacqueline Foertsch

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 07/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780252026379
  • ISBN10: 0252026373
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Description: Enemies Within traces the discourse of hostility, hysteria, and global threat that links the literature and film of the cold war era with that of the AIDS era. Not only the political and biological illnesses themselves but also the fear and panic they engender are the plagues with which Jacqueline Foertsch is concerned in this wide-ranging study.

Enemies Within argues that our shared experience of and response to AIDS not only significantly resembles but also emerged directly from its mid-century predecessor, which conditioned us to dread worldwide biological disaster and an invisible enemy. Foertsch considers the "false binaries" (straight/gay, patriot/traitor, healthy/infected) that promise protection from an invasive threat and the utopian impulse to purge, homogenize, and relocate problematic individuals outside the city walls.

Tracking the coded language of illness and cure, Foertsch unravels the plague imagery of such texts as George Orwell's 1984, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Paul Auster's In the Country of Last Things, Don DeLillo's White Noise, and Armistad Maupin's Tales of the City series. She also compares cold war-era films with their AIDS-era remakes, showing that although the enemy threat changes shape, the plague of human hysteria remains remarkably constant.

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