1st Edition

Representing (Post)Human Enhancement Technologies in Twenty-First Century US Fiction

By Carmen Laguarta-Bueno Copyright 2023
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    This work studies three twenty-first century novels by Richard Powers, Dave Eggers and Don DeLillo as representative of a new trend of US fiction concerned with the topic of the technological augmentation of the human condition. The different chapters provide, from the double perspective of the optimistic transhumanist philosophy and the more balanced approach of critical posthumanism, an overview of the narrative strategies used by the writers to explore the possibilities that biotechnology, digital technologies and cryonics open up to transcend our human limitations, while also warning their readers of their most nefarious consequences. Ultimately, the book puts forward the claim that even if the writers approach the subject from a variety of perspectives and using different narrative styles and techniques, they all share a critical posthumanist fear that an unrestrained and unquestioned use of technology for enhancement purposes may bring about disembodiment and dehumanization.



    Transhumanism and Critical Posthumanism

    Literary Representations of the Trans- and the Posthuman

    Cyberpunk, Postcyberpunk, and Beyond

    1. Richard Powers’s Generosity: An Enhancement (2009): A Metafictional Reflection on the Biotechnological Pursuit of Happiness

    Generosity: An Enhancement and Transhumanism: The Biotechnological Pursuit of Happiness
    Critical Posthumanism and Metafiction in Generosity: An Enhancement

    2. When Utopia Meets Dystopia: Social Media Tools and Surveillance Devices in Dave Eggers’s The Circle (2013)

    The Circle and Transhumanism: Social Media Tools and Surveillance Devices
    Critical Posthumanism, Utopia, and Dystopia in The Circle

    3. Don DeLillo’s Zero K (2016): Transhumanism, Trauma, and the Ethics of Premature Cryopreservation

    Zero K and Transhumanism: Life Extension Technologies
    Critical Posthumanism and Trauma in Zero K




    Carmen Laguarta-Bueno is a lecturer at the Department of English and German Studies at the University of Zaragoza. Her work has been published in journals such as Atlantis and The Nordic Journal of English Studies, and in volumes such as Transhumanism and Posthumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative (Routledge).