The Magnificent Ambersons is a novel that can—and should—be taken on its own terms. While progress in the novel is widely shorthanded as industrialization, it is specifically pegged to a single technology: the rise, and eventual supremacy, of the automobile.
Elizebeth Minkel is a fan culture journalist whose writing has appeared in New Statesman, The Millions, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. She co-hosts the podcast “Fansplaining,” and works on digital projects for The New Yorker. Minkel received her MA in the digital humanities from University College London.
Posts by Elizebeth Minkel
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.