Author Archives: alexoxner

Modernism and Memory: Or, Alex’s Inability to Move On Already

For the past year, I have been obsessed with examining the role of memory in every text I’ve read. My unwitting colleagues have been subjected to my repetitive blog posts on this subject (thanks again, guys). But it is such a broad and pervasive… Continue reading

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The “Vanished Children”: Routinized War in Spin and Beyond

In “Air War Prophecy and Interwar Modernism,” Paul K. Saint-Amour posits a “routinization of emergency” and draws upon Lewis Mumford’s The Culture of Cities to describe a “collective psychosis” which was instigated by pre-war anxiety. Sai… Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, culture, Science Fiction | Comments Off on The “Vanished Children”: Routinized War in Spin and Beyond

A Universal Death in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

In Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell is invested in constructing a non-linear narrative – his cyclical temporal structure is a refreshing departure from other works I’ve read in the last two months (baggy structures of futurity that rely upon alienating … Continue reading

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Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

In the interest of fostering some continuity between this week’s reading and our pending discussion of H.G. Wells, I am interested in Foucault’s discussion of suicide as a way in which the individual might “usurp the power of death” (139). In T… Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, Foucault, Galton, H.G. Wells, nineteenth century, Science Fiction, sovereignty, suicide, The Island of Dr. Moreau | Comments Off on Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

Evolution in Art?

Last night around midnight, a friend and I went for a walk through Vanderbilt’s campus with the intention of examining some of Vandy’s infamous statues. I typically rush past these art works on my way to coffee classes and meetings, so with our lei… Continue reading

Posted in charles darwin, evolution, evolution of technology, history of science, Nancy DuPont Reynolds, sculpture, the origin of species, Vanderbilt | Comments Off on Evolution in Art?

“A Knowledge that is Dying to be Born”: Manipulating Knowledge in The Difference Engine

In The Difference Engine, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling compose an alternate history depicting technological, environmental, and socio-political crises of the nineteenth century. At the heart of this novel is an overwhelming sense of ambivalence re… Continue reading

Posted in advertising, Bruce Sterling, knowledge, law, libel, nineteenth century, Science Fiction, The Difference Engine, William Gibson | Comments Off on “A Knowledge that is Dying to be Born”: Manipulating Knowledge in The Difference Engine

Mourning in Frankenstein and the Digital Age

Somehow, I was admitted into a PhD program in literature without ever having read Frankenstein. I will reveal that I intentionally avoided this work because I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy it – I was right (it’s just not my cup of tea). However, Fra… Continue reading

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