Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lost Studies

Reading Lost: Perspectives on a Hit Television Show 
Reading Contemporary Television
Edited by Roberta Pearson

I.B. Tauris, March 2009
ISBN: 978-1-84511-836-5, ISBN10: 1-84511-836-7,
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages

This book is a comprehensive guide to the one of the most successful TV dramas in global television history. Created by wunderkind J.J. Abrams, the award-winning seriesLost began in 2004 and will end after its sixth season in 2010. Reading Lost delves into the aspects that attract 15 million viewers a week: cinematic visuals, complex narrative, and a diverse, international cast. Also addressed are the show's multitude of mystifying elements and plot twists including the polar bear, the four-toed statue, and the "Others." The book also includes an up-to-date episode guide.

* Introduction: Why Lost? -- Roberta Pearson * Production/audiences * How Lost Found its Audience: The Making of a Cult Blockbuster -- Stacey Abbott * The Fictional Institutions of Lost: World Building, Reality, and the Economic Possibilities of Narrative Divergence -- Derek Johnson * Television Out of Time: Watching Cult Shows On Download -- Will Brooker * The Gathering Place: Lost in Oahu -- Julian Stringer * Lost logos: Channel 4 and the Branding of American Event Television -- Paul Grainge * Text * Lost in a Great Story: Evaluation in Narrative Television (and Television Studies) -- Jason Mittell * Chain of Events: Regimes of Evaluation and Lost’s Construction of the Televisual Character -- Roberta Pearson * ‘Do you even know where this is going?’: Lost’s Viewers and Narrative Premeditation -- Ivan Askwith * Lost in Genre: Chasing the White Rabbit to Find a White Polar Bear -- Angela Ndalianis * Representation * Lost in the Orient: Transnationalism Interrupted -- Michael Newbury * We’re Not in Portland Anymore: Lost and Its International Others -- Jonathan Gray * ‘A fabricated Africanist persona’: Race, Representation, and Narrative Experimentation in Lost -- Celeste-Marie Bernier * Queer(ying) Lost -- Glyn Davis and Gary Needham * Contributors * Index *

Roberta Pearson is Professor of Film and Television Studies and Director of the Institute of Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham. She has authored, co-authored and co-edited numerous books and articles, including American Cultural Studies,A Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory and Cult Television. She is currently editing the forthcoming Companion to Television Genres.

Literary Lost: Viewing Television Through the Lens of Literature 
by Sarah Clarke Stuart

Imprint: Continuum
Pub. date: 13 Jan 2011
ISBN: 9781441140807
176 Pages, paperback
World rights
Translation Rights Available


From the moment that Watership Down made its appearance on screen in season one, speculation about Lost’s literary allusions has played an important role in the larger discussion of the show. Fans and critics alike have noted the many references, from biblical passages and children’s stories to science fiction and classic novels.

Literary Lost teases out the critical significance of these featured books, demonstrating how literature has served to enhance the meaning of the show. It provides a fuller understanding of Lost and reveals how television can be used as a tool for stimulating a deeper interest in literary texts.

The first chapter features an exhaustive list of "Lost books," including the show’s predecessor texts. Subsequent chapters are arranged thematically, covering topics from free will and the nature of time to parenthood and group dynamics. From Lewis Carroll’s creations, which appear as recurring images and themes throughout, to Slaughterhouse-Five’s lessons on the nature of time, Literary Lost will help readers unravel the show’s novelistic plot while celebrating its astonishing layers and nuances of text.

Table of Contents

Introduction “What, Don’t You Read?”: Lost’s Literary Influence
Chapter 1: The Books of Lost
Chapter 2 “Are You There, God?”: Faith, Sacrifice and Redemption
Chapter 3: Who Has the “Power Over the Clay”? Purpose, Fate and Free Will
Chapter 4 Stuck and “Unstuck” in Time: a Tradition of Time Travel
Chapter 5 “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath”: Lost Parents
Chapter 6 “We’re All Mad Here”: Dreams, Illusions and the Nature of Reality
Chapter 7 “Maybe there is a beast....maybe it's only us”: Group Dynamics and the Communities of Lost
Chapter 9 A Conclusion: The Purpose of “Stories that Aren’t Even True”
Appendix 1
End Notes


Sarah Clarke Stuart teaches composition, media studies and literature at the University of North Florida. She has been teaching and writing about Lost for several years.

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