Everything old is good again: Myth and nostalgia in Spider-Man

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Abstract:

This paper is interested in why the application of the nostalgic mode to Spider-Man resulted in a movie which was staggeringly profitable and critically acclaimed at the 2002 box office. Accordingly, it relates the semiotics and plot of Spider-Man back to Joseph Campbell's monomyth of the male hero's journey, and cognitive psychologist Ulric Neisser's theory of repisodic memory. Nostalgia, repisodic memories, and the monomyth are seen to complement each other when intertwined, especially when the text positively contrasts them against the dreariness of contemporary everyday life. The paper thus provides a suggestive representative analysis of the culturally central and powerful contemporary Hollywood comic-based blockbuster cinema form.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304310903154651

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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