Posthuman Viability

Bruce Clarke

in Posthuman Metamorphosis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228508
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240999 | DOI:
Posthuman Viability

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Modern metamorphs sometimes take an alternative form, just like with the Beast People in The Island of Dr. Moreau, they emerge within an entire population, which must then grapple with a general and distributed corporeal transformation. In keeping with the modern understanding of evolutionary species, only the latter scenario offers plausible grounds for the depiction of a viable transformation. But then, it is only with the emergence of hard science fiction that the issue of viability arises at all, alongside the issue of verisimilitude. In the book The Island of Dr. Moreau, the topical verisimilitude of Wells's science fiction lies in its knowledgeable depiction and intermingling of vivisection and devolution. The fantasy of forcing humanization upon animals through surgical alterations pitches the ensuing failure of those experiments as an allegory of human devolution.

Keywords: metamorphs; devolution; allegory; posthuman; vivisection; corporeal transformation; verisimilitude; humanization

Chapter.  13800 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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