The books Cronenberg has used before are books I liked for different reasons. This time he picked a book I had not read so obviously I wanted to read it. I was not disappointed, but I wonder what I would have thought if I did not see it as part of his earlier hallucinogenic and hyper realistic journey. The fact that Cronenberg interrupted his interesting work and made commercials for the very companies that are contributing to the sickness that he portrays so well was interesting for me and maybe this influenced is book choice. Cosmopolis feels like the kind of desperation that we grasp for in a crazy world when what we find is too trivial. I guess Cronenbergs work with commercials exposed him to the lack of intelligence and innovation in the corporate sector that usually surprises people from the cultural sector.
We want the people that are speculating away fortunes and living lives in luxury to be interesting, or at least provocative in some interesting way. If the people in the financial sector were even a fraction as intelligent and reflecting as Eric Packer the financial system would be fascinating. The distance and distain Eric feels for himself and the system around him require a person to move beyond simplistic crowd behaviour. The sad thing is that most of the top people I have met in the financial sector, and in the commercial world, are not even interested in the kind of questions Eric Packer bounce around in his head. These are the things we hope they would they would wrestle with, as the meaninglessness of our current system becomes almost unbearable without this hope.
While the book can be read as a critique of our postmodern speculation economy, it feels more like a desperate wish for something interesting to be hiding among all the glitter and shallow symbols of our time.
I understand that the claustrophobic setting of a limousine is perfect for Cronenberg and I look forward to see the movie I could not help hoping for him to pick a more challenging book next time, maybe “Super Sad True Love Story”?