Difference and Doubt in Christopher Nolan’s Inception

  • Michael J. Blouin


The theme of atemporality discussed in the previous chapter persists among writers of cyberpunk literature. Bruce Sterling, for one, gave a 2010 speech entitled “Atemporality for the Creative Artist” in which he advocates a celebration of atemporal experimentation over previous attempts at cultural relativism. He focuses upon “becoming ‘multi-temporal’, rather than multicultural” (Sterling 2010, 5). Yet his enthusiastic endorsement should be tempered by the fact that, as I will discuss shortly, cyberpunk writers tend to embrace radical notions only to subsume them within recognizable paradigms. As he himself admits at the end of this speech, “(Atemporality’s) not a perfect explanation, it’s a contingent explanation for contingent times” (6). In truth, during the 1980s and 1990s Sterling exploited “New Japan” as a literary device to achieve an effect similar to the one he later produces with atemporality.


Soft Power Cultural Imperialism Late Capitalism Literary Device Western Metaphysic 
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  1. 6.
    See Joshua La Bare’s “The Future: ‘Wrapped… in That Mysterious Japanese Way.’” Science Fiction Studies 27 (2000).Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    For examples of how American popular culture was applied internationally in manipulative ways, see Uta G. Poiger’s Jazz Rock and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany (Poiger 2000).Google Scholar

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© Michael J. Blouin 2013

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  • Michael J. Blouin

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