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Sex, machines and navels: fiction, fantasy and history in the future present

Sex, machines and navels: fiction, fantasy and history in the future present

Botting, Fred

This work offers a critical re-reading of fictions of humanity, history, technology and postmodern culture. Taking psychoanalysis into cyberspace, the book develops a theoretical perspective on the relationship between bodies and machines

Paperback, Hardback, Book. English.
Published Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 801.92/BOT

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00208997 Main Collection 801.92/BOT Standard Available

Details

Statement of responsibility: Fred Botting
ISBN: 0719055369, 071905625X, 9780719055362, 9780719056253
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 230-236) and index.
Physical Description: vi, 240p. ; 22 cm.
Subject: Semiotics and literature.; Science Fiction; Literary Criticism; Fantasy; Psychoanalysis; Postmodernism (Literature); Mind and body in literature.

Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. 1. Navels
  3. Navel-gazing
  4. The question of the navel
  5. 2. Lacan’s navel
  6. Psychoanalysis through the navel?
  7. The navel of the dream
  8. Reading navels
  9. The navel’s return
  10. 3. Jokes and their relation to postmodernism
  11. The joke that is not one
  12. The navel of the joke
  13. Jokes and their relation to the Other
  14. Postmodernism’s navel
  15. Paternal metaphors?
  16. 4. History, holes and things
  17. History’s navel
  18. Natural history and the navel
  19. Holes and things
  20. Wombs, texts, hystery
  21. Repetition, revolution, drive
  22. 5. Of meat and the matrix
  23. Future history and the navel
  24. Plugging into the One
  25. Other matrix, other meat
  26. Navel, image, screen
  27. 6. Romance of the machine
  28. Navels in the machine
  29. Going nodal
  30. Bibliography
  31. Index

Author note

Fred Botting is Professor of English Literature and Executive member of London Graduate School, Kingston University

Description

Sex, machines and navels offers a rigorous critical re-reading of fictions of humanity, history, technology and postmodern culture.

Taking psychoanalysis into cyberspace, the book develops an innovative theoretical perspective on the relationship between bodies and machines to offer a focused re-examination of notions of desire, metaphor, sexed identity and difference and the process of technological transformation.

The book unravels one figure in a detailed, lucid and extensive revision of Lacanian psychoanalysis in association with postmodern theory, feminism and deconstruction. Problematising the easy conjunction of human bodies and inhuman technology, the navel opens into networks of desire, history, culture and machines. Linked to the unconscious, to jokes and dreams, navels appear on the bodies of replicants and in the technological matrix, a strange excess in a future imagined in terms of corporeal ‘meat’ or posthuman machine. Exploring the significance of this omphalic excess, the book closely postmodern and cyberpunk texts (by Thomas Pynchon, Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, William Gibson, Rudy Rucker) alongside detailed readings of contemporary cultural critics and theorists.

Presenting an informative and original exploration of cultural fantasies and anxieties, Sex, machines and navels will appeal to teachers, researchers and advanced students in the Humanities and Social Sciences.