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This important new contribution to studies on authorship and film explores the ways in which shared and disputed opinions on aesthetic quality, originality and authorial essence have shaped receptions of Lynch's films. It is also the first book to approach David Lynch as a figure composed through language, history and text. Tracing the development of Lynch's career from cult obscurity with Eraserhead, to star auteur through the release of Blue Velvet, and TV phenomenon Twin Peaks, Antony Todd examines how his idiosyncratic style introduced the term 'Lynchian' to the colloquial speech of new Hollywood and helped establish Lynch as the leading light among contemporary American auteurs. Todd explores contemporary manners and attitudes for artistic reputation building, and the standards by which Lynch's reputation was dismantled following the release of Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, only to be reassembled once more through films such as Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr. and INLAND EMPIRE. In its account of the experiences at play in the encounter between ephemera, text and reader, this book reveals how authors function for pleasure in the modern filmgoer's everyday consumption of films.