Kuwait-University-Journal-of-Law-header
Search
Journal of Law

Previous Issues

Advance Search
Year : From To Vol
Issue Discipline:
Author

Volume :26 Issue : 103 2008      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Cyborgs, Posthumanism and Short Fiction

Auther : William S. Haney II

Attempts to theorize the short story deal primarily with early, modern, or contemporary stories that feature ordinary human characters. Several theorists describe the short story as an impressionistic representation of sacred experience. Unlike the novel, a public form that springs from encounters with the everyday, the short story depicts the inner reality of the self in its relation to eternal rather than temporal phenomena. But if the short story depicts momentary mythic encounters with the sacred, then what happens when the protagonist is no longer human in the traditional sense, or even postmodern - the two for all practical purposes being physiologically identical - but rather posthuman - a cyborg? A cyborg is any human with a technophilic body, defined as a human/machine symbiosis.  As the body becomes technophilic, whether through the modification of functional organic structures or through genetic engineering, the quality of subjective experience mediated by this body will no doubt undergo significant change. As we move from the postmodern to the posthuman as a cultural construct, stories depicting posthuman experiences will no longer be confined to the subgenre of science fiction but will increasingly extend to all types of short fiction. 

This essay demonstrates the possibility of posthuman cyborgs losing contact with the sacred through an analysis of James Joyce’s story “The Dead,” Kurt Vonnegut’s story “Harrison Bergeron,” and William Gibson’s story “Burning Chrome.”  As these works of short fiction suggest, the experience of an inner space, commensurate with the emergence of the core of human nature, does not depend on biological enhancement through electronic mergers. In fact, any artificial inducement through technology would probably result in a transformation of the self away from human nature’s innate capacity for transcendence. This assumption is corroborated by Clark’s biased and patently false assertion that the “idea of ‘mind as spirit-stuff’ is no longer scientifically respectable” (43) - a claim discredited by the vast interdisciplinary field of consciousness studies in which consciousness is increasingly accepted as an autonomous entity. 

Journal of Law
Journal of Law

You are Visitor No.

100301

Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Tell your friendsJournal of Law
Journal of Law
Journal of Law

Last Updated

Dec 08, 2019

Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Journal of Law

Please enter your email Here to receive our news

Journal of Law