A cool new book has just been published, with special appeal to David Lynch fans. Fan Phenomena: Twin Peaks, edited by Marisa C. Hayes and Franck Boulegue, was released this month by Intellect Books in the UK. Other titles in the Fan Phenomena series include Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Who, and Batman. We’re in great company!
Here’s a passage from the editors’ introduction: “When we refer to a show’s impact within the realm of fan phenomena, we move far beyond the game of numbers that determines the initial airtime of any given series. The shows and films that persevere do so because they strike a chord within a dedicated, passionate group of followers. Such programmes are often rejected by mainstream audiences or studios for being too ‘inaccessible,’ ‘offbeat,’ or ‘controversial,’ as witnessed with Twin Peaks. The show’s vibrant and richly layered dream sequences, for instance, resemble what general audiences might stereotypically expect to find at a video art exhibition, not on network television. Yet, it is often these very elements that are credited with building and extending a show or film’s lasting cult following.”
My chapter in the book has to do with the portrayal of dreams in the initial episodes of the series, especially Agent Cooper’s dream at the end of the third episode. Apparently the ratings numbers went down precipitously right after this episode! Too weird for some people, but a breath of fresh air for many others.
Other chapters in the book include “Peaks and Pop Culture” by Shara Lorea Clark, “Audrey in Five Outfits” by Angela K. Bayout, “Embodiment of the Mystery: Performance and Video Art Go Twin Peaks” by Gry Worre Hallberg and Ulf Rathjen Kring Hansen, “The Owls Are Not What They Seem: Cultural Artifacts in Twin Peaks” by Andrew Howe, “‘Yeah, But the Monkey Says, Judy’: A Critical Approach to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” by Scott Ryan and Joshua Minton, “Twin Peaks and the ‘Disney Princess’ Generation” by David Griffith, “Bond on Bond: Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks” by David Bushman, “Strange Spaces: Cult Topographies in Twin Peaks” by Fran Pheasant-Kelly, and “Gothic Daemon BOB” by Chris Murray.