[008 - the novel as inhuman]
September 23, 2017
My current project/chapter has me returning to Mark Z. Danielewski's work, a novelist who's been with me since I first thought about teaching, and latter became an important fixture for how I think about literature, and then, again, latter, became an even more important figure for how I think about ethics, (non)humans, and so much more. Although the chapter is specifically interested in inter-weaving Danielewski's most recent set of novels, collectively known as The Familiar, into contemporary posthumanism, figuring The Familiar as another resource for theorizing relationality among (non)humans, it's also given me a chance to revisit his work as a whole. Specifically, I'm looking at some of the 'paratextual' (if you can call it that) projects surrounding The Familiar including a talk that later became an article called 'Parable No. 9: The Hopeless Animal and the End of Nature.' Given in Cologne, Germany in the Fall of 2010, the talk catalyzed my interest in posthumanism, actor network theory, and speculative realism (though I've largely abandoned the latter two in favor of the former), and continues to inform how I think about hope and our relation to animals. By that same token, I'm hoping that 'Parable No. 9' will offer insight into Danielewski's novels---there's clearly cross-contamination---as well as provide fodder for positioning his work among other posthuman theorists.