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Contaminations"Beyond Dialectics in Modern Literature, Science and Film"$
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Michael Mack

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411363

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411363.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Contaminating Posthumanism

Contaminating Posthumanism

(p.191) 7 Contaminating Posthumanism

Michael Mack

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter delineates ways in which we can overcome humanist as well as posthumanist dialectics of inclusion and exclusion. It also critically engages with the persistence of positing pure forms and opposing them with each other in the contemporary context of posthumanism. It analyses how Ishiguro’s Never Let me Go contaminates the symbolic with its supposed opposite: embodied life. Similarly to the replicants in Ridely Scott’s Blade Runner or the cloned child in Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence, the clones in Ishiguro’s novel are capable of the same emotions and the same forms of behaviour characterising humans. These films as well as Ishiguro’s Never Let me Go persuade us to change the way we think about distinct and opposed entities: as no longer distinct in opposition but as mutually implicated with each other. The figure of contamination describes this force of mutual implication and interdependence. It emerges as an alternative to notions which posit divisions between ‘pure’ entities such as the one separating mind from body, natural history from human history, or bios from zoé.

Keywords:   Bio-politics, Agamben, Foucault, universalism, exclusion, K. Ishiguro’s Never Let me Go, post-linguistic turn, humanistic mind-body division, Lacan’s mirror stage, bioethics

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