Draw a visual image of the narrative structure of Generation A. Consider the different layers of story, the many different voices, and the connections and intersections that occur between the stories, including thematic or content-based connections. Consider, too, the outside cultural stories and references that inform the novel’s web of stories. Try to place the reader somewhere in your drawing. Get creative here! Use different colours or images to distinguish the voices and connections. What conclusions can you draw about how the novel is structured? How does this structure link to your understanding of the novel’s themes and larger arguments?
Visual Curation Project
- Coupland is both a writer and visual artist. Visit his website. In his portfolio, he associates a collage of images with each of his works. Taken together, the images link layers of meaning and association with each written text. Looking at the images used for Generation A, what themes, ideas, emotions, and cultural associations can you identify?
- Now, it’s your turn. Develop a Visual Curation Project for Generation A. The goal here is to place the novel within its social and cultural context. Select a theme or question from your reading of the novel. Next, gather multimedia material that address or relate in some way with the same theme or question. You might look for images, quotes, video clips, news stories…see what you can find. Curate this material into a visual project that “talks back” to Coupland’s novel. Look for points of intersection, debate, and development of the theme or question. You might include quotations from Coupland’s novel within your visual project. Remember to be diligent in documenting all your material.
- Next, write a reflection piece on your work. In 1000-1200 words, summarize the theme or question that you have chosen, provide a reading of how this theme or question is treated in the novel, and comment on your visual curation of this theme or question, reflecting on how the novel’s approach connects with the other cultural materials you have drawn together. Are Coupland’s ideas affirmed or questioned by the other material? Is there a wide range of ideas or debate? How does the chosen media (print, image, video) affect the kinds of information and commentary you’ve found?
UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections houses Coupland’s fonds. Take some time to read about the collection and make a virtual visit to the fonds.