Since Fight Club earned Chuck Palahniuk notoriety, critical
praise and derision and a committed cult following on the heels of the
1996 novel publication and 1999's David Fincher film adaptation starring
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter and Jared Leto, the
author and his work have struggled to find critical legitimacy. His
reputation, especially at public readings, has been built upon
accentuating all the ways grotesque horror can become comically absurd.
As he continues to experiment with new forms that transgress not only
literary traditions but expectations for his own work, Palahniuk seems
to be acutely aware of both his artistic growth and the conflict over
his legacy, suggesting that he should be taken more seriously as a 20th
and 21st century American literary figure.In NeMLA 49, the question that was raised was whether Palahniuk's work
was even worth studying. Following on from that discussion, and in
light of the publication of his newest novel Adjustment Day, the
question is: is Palahniuk worth teaching? What relevance does his work
have to our times, if any? What can students learn about writing,
literature, or society by reading and analyzing Palahniuk's texts? How
does the author engage with the political, the social, and/or the
cultural, and does it even matter?
This panel welcomes
submissions that seek to answer these questions. In particular, we are
interested in submissions by those with personal experience in teaching
Palahniuk's work. Interested speakers should submit a 250-300 word abstract and short bio through the NeMLA portal.