Remixing Highbrow Culture

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 22 2011 @ 3:00pm

Why monsters and superheroes have invaded upscale literature:

There was a time in recent memory when writers took their cues primarily from the literary figures that came before them. But in 2011, our literary, media, and entertainment landscapes are unprecedentedly vast and various. Not only that, but appropriation has become an important artistic currency—seen in everything from hip-hop sampling, to Internet remixing, to literary mashups like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. We define our current cultural moment in terms of media consumption, and we try to reflect our varied interests in our art. In the hands of pop culture wizards like Jonathan Lethem or the late David Foster Wallace, you're likely to see prose equally indebted to Catwoman and Catullus, Star Wars and Keats' "Bright Star."