Nostalgia and the Kiss of Ulysses in Twin Peaks
To trace the legacy of Joyce and the Arts, “Nostalgia and the Kiss of Ulysses in Twin Peaks” examines the influence of Ulysses on David Lynch’s 2017 season of Twin Peaks. Franke’s article explores the episodic structure and dialectic of myth and history subtending these works and then pursues the theoretical implications of cultural, generational nostalgia. Season Three of Twin Peaks shares an 18-part structure with Ulysses, and each narrative draws off The Odyssey, particularly in what Joyce called the “nostos” section, to construct its own mythopoesis relevant to its cultural context. In Twin Peaks, the nostalgic gesture to use myth cultivates the epic tradition and recasts The Odyssey as Ulysses already had done. Joyce’s novel becomes a paradigm for the generative possibilities for form and content in subsequent modernist and now postmodernist narrative. Employing theories of nostalgia developed by Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson, and Svetlana Bohm, Franke argues that nostalgia underwrites these narratives to produce a dialectic of myth and history that struggles to escape mythic determinism and comment on the present of the text. Franke’s article particularly examines how Season Three of Twin Peaks reflects on the economic crisis of 2008, the Occupy Movement, the effects of technology on attention span, and the disturbing frequency of school shootings in America. In these moments, Twin Peaks estranges history and defamiliarizes the present in order to transcend mythic structures.
James Joyce and the Arts
(2020). Nostalgia and the Kiss of Ulysses in Twin Peaks. James Joyce and the Arts, 29, 135-147.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/17313