Abstract

This article discusses how Alex Garland's The Beach (1996) engages with conceptions of utopian islands, nation, and colonialism in modernity and how it, from this basis, develops a different spatiality that reflects on a more deterritorialized form of imperial domination within late twentieth-century globalization, as exercised by the United States. The novel is shown to subvert, but not to abolish, two spatial formations that originated in early modernity: nation and utopia. Building on Jean Baudrillard's elaborations regarding simulation and simulacra, the article argues that The Beach creates a hyperreal narrative that does away with the idea of isolated, bounded spaces and that in form and content corresponds with the worldwide dominance of the United States at the end of the twentieth century.

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