‘It is always another world’: mapping the global imaginary in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition

2014-09-25T13:58:47Z (GMT) by Brian Jarvis
No account of the contemporary relationship between landscape and identity can afford to ignore the impact of globalization. Understanding the intricate imbrications of space and subjectivity increasingly requires a global perspective. This essay examines tensions in the global imaginary as they are articulated in William Gibson’s novel, Pattern Recognition (2003). The framework for this reading is taken from Arjun Appadurai’s essay, ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’ (1990), in which he divides the ‘imagined worlds’ of globalization into five overlapping categories: ethnoscapes, financescapes, technoscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes. The heroine of Gibson’s novel, Cayce Pollard, moves across and into each of these -scapes and finds herself positioned precariously in a complex economy of global flows: a node in the network of people and power, finance and commodities, art and machines, images and information.