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Philosophische Fakultät - Jahrgang 2010


Titel Utopic Bodies, Dystopic Subjects
Dialogues Between Literature and Theory
Autor Catrin Weimbs
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract This dissertation examines the ways in which literary and theoretical texts respectively use the trope of the body to negotiate questions of subjectivity in utopic and dystopic discourse. By staging dialogues between theoretical and literary texts and examining the various body concepts each discourse produces, this dissertation argues that literature in the second half of the twentieth century has increasingly turned away from the utopian genre and has instead favored distinctly dystopian texts. Literary theory on the other hand, has not just become a forceful tool of social criticism but also of utopian discourse. In three chapters, this dissertation analyzes the body concepts of literary and theoretical texts and outlines the strategic claims on subjectivity they imply.
The first chapter discusses the writings of Gilles Deleuze, particularly his notions of the “Body without Organs” (A Thousand Plateaus 1987) and the “Machinic body” (Anti-Oedipus 1972), and contextualizes them with William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (1959) and his “retroactive utopia” Cities of the Red Night (1981). Chapter II stages a dialogue between Donna Haraway’s “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and the Socialist Feminism in the 1980s” (1985) and William Gibson’s cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (1984). The third and final chapter examines Homi Bhabha’s postcolonial concepts of “mimicry” and “hybridity” and reads them against Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake (2003).
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 10.12.2010