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Vol. 1 (2011), Articles
This paper studies the relationship between the composition methods of Lisa Moore’s novel Alligator (2005) and the visual effects of hyperrealist painting. The purpose is to find a common epistemology in certain narrative and visual discourses which may offer clues as to how to interpret some ethical issues such as a contemporary overexposure to photography in our daily life. This globalized visual overload, which is used by hyperrealist painters and by Lisa Moore to produce astonishingly renewing perceptions, is then examined in the context of Newfoundland’s society regarded as a repository of values which abruptly shift from old definitions of national/regional identity to the dilemmas of a post-industrial era, where the virtual worlds of technique can empty out people’s lives. Lisa Moore’s narrative proposal is apparently at odds with reactions of dismay of those theorists who claim that overexposure to images cancels out sympathy and activism (i.e., Susan Sontag, Jacques Rancière). However, Moore’s absolute engagement with reality as a visual phenomenon is complex; the novel offers creative alternatives for characters in the process of composing their biographies yet prevents identification with the social history of their community.