Surviving Anew: Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor and the Disaster Genre

Yazıcıoğlu S.

Word and Text: A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, vol.4, no.1, pp.40-52, 2014 (Scopus)


This article analyses Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor as an example of transgressive fiction, with a special emphasis on the author’s style and method of rewriting and violating the conventions of the disaster narrative. As a transgressive novel, Survivor not only mirrors and comments on the social change of its time, but also betrays a specific literary subversion that moves it beyond the postmodern by its dialogue with American literary minimalism as well as popular culture. The novel is a first-person narration of Tender Branson, who is a suicide cult survivor, a servant, a pro-suicide advisor, a religious media celebrity, and a hijacker. Through the subversion of the disaster genre, Survivor emphasizes the perpetuity of the crisis, and presents storytelling as the final act of survival from the commodification of his life.