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Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Mike Johnstone

LECTURE 6 – Feb 15 TODAY’s LECTURE  Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”: The Alien as Transformative Experience  Ian McDonald, Cyberabad Days o The other: Orientalism and Postcolonialism o Posthumanism o Overview of the World of Cyberabad Days o “Kyle Meets the River” and Educating the Coloniser: A Close Reading o Point of View and/as Estrangement in “Sanjeev and Robotwallah,” “The Dust Assassin,” and “An Eligible Boy” “Story of Your Life”: The Alien As Transformative Experience  The encounter of the alien changes us in some way  How the encounter can even transform our expectations of how Narrative works  Narratives are told after a story already happens, this story has all 3 tenses o Present tense – “is about to ask” “I want” “have just come back” o Past tense – “came out” “have been” “conceived” o Future tense – “when we move” “you’ll” “we’ll” “we’ll never get”  Theres an impression that past, present and future is all happening simultaneously  The narrative as a whole requires the reader to read the past present and future simultaneously  Retrospective view (past tense) gets disrupted by the future tense  As the narrative proceeds, there is a repetition of her speech “I remember when”, “you’ll” etc  The way she structures time and experience repeats  Sense of estrangement changes to normality – by the end, the reader’s perception is transformed by Louise’s story  “my worldview is an amalgam of human and heptapod  Shes trying to synthesize the two views of human and heptapod  The encounter with the other (alien) can produce a profound transformation in one’s world view  Louise conceives time in a different view now  Her experience with the alien completely influences all aspects of her narrative  Wolfgang Iser, literary critic  The process of being confronted by and having to assume other and different perspectives  Science fiction confronts with difference/otherness  Two levels – the alien “me” and the real, virtual “me” o Reading fiction transforms our sense of self bc fiction asks us to assume different points of view, to set our own self aside and take in someone else’s view – we become the alien thoughts of the author or the various characters of the narrative o The Other – Orientalism th th  Orientalism/orientalist – a term, policy, and occupation of the late-18 and 19 centuries, in Britain primarily: signifying scholarship interested in and art influenced by the Orient, especially the Middle East and India  Orientalism carried a positive/sympathetic notion  Related to making the languages/cultures/histories of the East available to the West  A lot of art/literature/music was a lot influenced by Orientalism  Form of cultural/political/economical  Term and concept radically revised by Edward Said in his book Orientalism o “orientalism” is a form of appropriation of the East by the West, expressing and reinforcing the West’s imperial/colonial power over the East (economic, political, linguistic, intellectural, etc” o “orientalism” makes the East the Other of the West – ie. It imagines, constructs, and i
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