Collecting twenty essays written by distinguished scholars from the United States and Germany, "The Holodeck in the Garden" offers an informative tour of the complex interrelations between science, technology, and contemporary American literature.
Contributors include Michael Berube writing on Colson Whitehead's "The Intuitionist"; Joseph Conte on William Gibson and Bruce Sterling; David Cowart on Don DeLillo's "Cosmopolis"; Carl Djerassi on science-in-fiction; N. Katherine Hayles on Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon"; Ursula Heise on risk and narrative in the contemporary novel; John Johnston on network theory; Brian McHale on Harry Mathews, Kathy Acker, and Gilbert Sorrentino; Joseph Tabbi on William Gaddis; and Curtis White on the "Great American Disaster Machine."
About the Author
Peter Freese is a professor and chair of American Studies at the University of Paderborn, Germany. The past president of the German Association for American Studies and bearer of the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande, he is also the author and editor of more than forty books and over 150 articles on diverse aspects of American life and literature.
Charles B. Harris directs the Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University. He is also the publisher of American Book Review and author of numerous books and articles on recent American fiction and the profession of English studies. In 1997 the Modern Language Associated honored him with the Francis Andrew March Award for Exceptional Service to the Profession of English.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: The Holodeck in the Garden||IX|
|I.||The Holodeck in the Garden: Informatics in the Age of the Posthuman||1|
|Performative Code and Figurative Language: Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon||3|
|The Virtual Reader: Cybernetics and Technocracy in William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine||28|
|Are Rhizomes Scale-free?: Network Theory and Contemporary American Fiction||53|
|"Of Metal Ducks, Embodied Iduros, and Autopoietic Bridges": Tales of an Intelligent Materialism in the Age of Artificial Life||72|
|Kingdoms of the Blind: Technology and Vision in Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma and Stephen Spielberg's Minority Report||100|
|Technoromanticism and the Limits of Representationalism: Richard Powers's Plowing the Dark||110|
|The Great American Disaster Machine||130|
|II.||The Technology in/of Contemporary American Fiction||141|
|Mech/Shaper, or, Varieties of Prosthetic Fiction: Mathews, Sorrentino, Acker, and Others||143|
|Race and Modernity in Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist||163|
|Anxieties of Obsolescence: DeLillo's Cosmopolis||179|
|Performing the Spectacle of Technology at the Beginning of the American Century: Steven Milhauser's Martin Dressler||192|
|History on Wheels: A Hegelian Reading of "Speed" in Contemporary American Literature and Culture||212|
|Stephen Wright: Going Native (by Car)||225|
|From Intertextuality to Virtual Reality: Robert Coover's A Night at the Movies and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash||238|
|III.||Science in Contemporary Fiction/Contemporary Science-in-Fiction||261|
|Toxins, Drugs, and Global Systems: Risk and Narrative in the Contemporary Novel||263|
|William Gaddis and the Autopoeisis of American Literature||288|
|Science-in-Fiction: Science as Tribal Culture in the Novels of Carl Djerassi||311|
|Science-in-Fiction: Literary Contraband?||322|
|From the Apocalypse to the Entropic End: From Hope to Despair to New Hope||334|