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Posthuman Metamorphosis: Narrative and Systems

Bruce Clarke

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ISBN 10: 0823228509 / ISBN 13: 9780823228508
Published by Fordham University Press, 2008
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: Posthuman Metamorphosis: Narrative and ...

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1.

About this title

Synopsis:

From Dr. Moreau’s Beast People to David Cronenberg’s Brundlefly, Stanislaw Lem’s robot constructors in the Cyberiad to Octavia Butler’s human/alien constructs in the Xenogenesis trilogy, Posthuman Metamorphosis examines modern and postmodern stories of corporeal transformation through interlocking frames of posthumanism, narratology, and second-order systems theory. New media generate new metamorphs.

New stories have emerged from cybernetic displacements of life, sensation, or intelligence from human beings to machines. But beyond the vogue for the cyborg and the cybernetic mash-up of the organic and the mechanical, Posthuman Metamorphosis develops neocybernetic systems theories illuminating alternative narratives that elicit autopoietic and symbiotic visions of the posthuman.

Systems theory also transforms our modes of narrative cognition. Regarding narrative in the light of the autopoietic systems it brings into play, neocybernetics brings narrative theory into constructive relation with the systemic operations of observation, communication, and paradox.

Posthuman Metamorphosis draws on Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Niklas Luhmann, Cary Wolfe, Mieke Bal, Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, and Lynn Margulis to read narratives of bodily metamorphosis as allegories of the contingencies of systems. Tracing the posthuman intuitions of both pre- and post-cybernetic metamorphs, it demonstrates the viability of second-order systems theories for narrative theory, media theory, cultural science studies, and literary criticism.

About the Author:

Bruce Clarke is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Science and chair of the Department of English at Texas Tech University. His research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and science, with special interests in systems theory, narrative theory, and ecology. In 2010–11 he was senior fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy, Bauhaus-University Weimar. His books are Allegories of Writing (1995), Dora Marsden and Early Modernism (1996), Energy Forms (2001), Posthuman Metamorphosis (2008), and Neocybernetics and Narrative (2014). He has coedited From Energy to Information (2002), Emergence and Embodiment (2009), and the Routledge Companion to Literature and Science (2010). He is now writing a cultural history of the American locations, transnational authors, and key concepts of the systems discourses gathered in the Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly.

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