Designing Fictions by Michael L. Ross
Literature Confronts Advertising

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

...give Ross credit for exercising genuine critical care, both in his choice of fictions and his analysis of those fictions. Wells and the others are not simply used to pound sense into the reader.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Advertising, long a controlling force in industrial society, has provoked an important body of imaginative work by English language writers. Michael Ross's Designing Fictions is the first study to investigate this symbiotic relationship on a broad scale. In view of the appreciable overlap between literary and promotional writing, Ross asks whether imaginative fiction has the latitude to critique advertising as an industry and as a literary form, and finds that intended critiques, time and again, turn out to be shot through with ambivalence. The texts considered include a wide range of books by British, American, and Canadian authors, from H.G. Wells’s pioneering fictional treatment of mass marketing in Tono-Bungay (1909) to Joshua Ferris’s depiction of a faltering Chicago agency in Then We Came to the End (2007). Along the way, among other examples, Ross discusses George Orwell’s seriocomic study of the stand-off between poetry and advertising in his 1936 novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Margaret Atwood’s probing of the impact of promotion on perception in The Edible Woman (1969). The final chapter of the book considers the popular television series Mad Men, where the tension between artistic and commercial pressures is especially acute. Written in a straightforward style for a wide audience of readers, Designing Fictions argues that the impact of advertising is universal and discussions of its significance should not be restricted to a narrow group of specialists.
 

About Michael L. Ross

See more books from this Author
 
Published July 1, 2015 by McGill-Queen's University Press. 232 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Designing Fictions
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Aug 10 2015

...give Ross credit for exercising genuine critical care, both in his choice of fictions and his analysis of those fictions. Wells and the others are not simply used to pound sense into the reader.

Read Full Review of Designing Fictions: Literatur... | See more reviews from National Post arts