These reviews shows us what literary critics have

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different receptions of the novel, respectively around 2001 and 2011. These reviews shows us what literary critics have thought, and more significantly have not thought throughout the years about the social network featured in Look at Me. What we learn from looking at these reviews, is that literature depicting a (nearby) future, is not really about ‘our’ future, but mostly says something about the times we are in. 2 Look at Me ’s publication date is even more unfortunate or uncanny if one considers the fact that Aziz, a character from the Middle- East in Egan’s novel, comes to New York to plan a terrorist attack on Wall Street, only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
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21 Hillary Frey in The Nation argues that protagonist Charlotte might not be liked as a character by readers because she gets to live a second lavish life as a ‘filthy rich multimedia celebrity – just by being herself, online’ (44). Frey here does not see a difference between the life of the physical Charlotte, and the narrative that is chronicled online. This is a curious move, since the novel foregrounds how Charlotte’s real life events differs from her story that is portrayed online. Moreover, Frey seems to completely obliterate the fact that the main event of Charlotte’s life, the car crash that destroyed her face, is staged after the fact and directed like a big budget Hollywood film: ‘Number one: Drama. Excitement. I want fireballs rolling through the cornstalks. Lots of bright, rich color find the beauty in it. Write it as one long narrative, and we’ll use what we need’ (LaM 316). Contrastingly to Frey’s reception, Laura Miller in a review for Time in 2001 as well does focus on the social network platform but calls it ‘a creepy website that stage manages events in the lives of "ordinary people" so it can offer ph ony documentaries about them on the Internet’ (89). Miller remarks how Charlotte could not refuse the irresistible offer of attention and money that the site will most definitely generate. She argues that Look at Me therefor shows to possess 'uncanny presc ience’ (Miller 89). Miller refers mostly to the irresistible nature of fame and fortune, rather than the existence of social network website. In The New Yorker in 2001 , Egan’s novel was called a 'stunningly written exploration of the American obsession with self-invention (Review of LaM ). About Charlotte's involvement with Ordinary People, the reviewer merely states that she negotiates 'in the brave new world of Internet entrepreneurs' (Review of LaM ). But the use of the phrase 'a brave new world' can be seen as a moral statement, alluding to the nightmarish utopia caused by progress Aldous Huxley's novel of the same name. With the ending of Look at Me in mind - physical Charlotte abandons the project while virtual Charlotte remains online - the internet adventure of Look at Me has indeed spiraled out of control for Charlotte who jumped into the project without thinking of the consequences of it, either in general of for herself.
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22 After Egan won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011, Look at Me
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