Annika Gonnermann

Absent Rebels: Criticism and Network Power in 21st Century Dystopian Fiction

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Absent Rebels: Criticism and Network Power in 21st Century Dystopian Fiction focuses on the relationship between literary dystopia, network power and neoliberalism. It explains why rebellion against a dystopian system is absent in many contemporary dystopias and aims to help readers understand modern power mechanisms and explains how to overcome them in our own daily lives.
Financial crises, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing climate catastrophe – regularly, it seems, the 21st century is hit by existential threats. One effect of this crisis-proneness of our present is a renaissance of dystopian thinking: Dystopia is back on the bestseller lists around the globe.
Absent Rebels: Criticism and Network Power in 21st Century Dystopian Fiction focuses on the complex relationship between dystopia, network power and neoliberalism. It explains why rebellion against a dystopian system is absent in many contemporary dystopias and how we erect dystopias although we have only the best of intentions. Based on the conviction, that we can start to build a better world by avoiding the mistakes of our past and present, this analysis also aims to help readers understand modern power mechanisms and explains how to overcome them in our own daily lives.


Inhalt:
I. Introduction: Dystopia Today
II. The Dystopian Genre
1. Genre, Etymology, and Definition of Utopian, Eutopian, and Dystopian Fiction
2. The History of Dystopian Fiction
3. Context, Criticism, and Rahel Jaeggi’s Critique of Forms of Life (2014)
3.1. Classical Dystopian Fiction, State Totalitarianism, and ‘External Criticism’
3.2. Contemporary Dystopian Fiction, Neoliberal Capitalism, and ‘Immanent Criticism’
III. ‘Crowd-Founded’ Dystopia: Dave Eggers’ The Circle (2013
1. Corporate Dystopia – The Rise of the Circle
2. “Don’t You See That It’s All Connected?”– The Company and Network Standards
3. Network Standards – The Circlers’ Loss of Identity and Longing for Recognition
4. “They Have Offered No Alternative” – The ‘Eutopian’ Monopoly of the Circle
IV. The Totalitarian Face of Neoliberalism: Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last (2015)
1. “Jobs For All!” – The Eutopian Facade of Neoliberalism
2. “The Right Choice(!?)” – Involuntary Decisions Within Neoliberal Network
3. The Banality of Dystopia – Totalitarianism as Product of the Free Market
4. “I need to help fix this” – The Impossibility of Thinking beyond Neoliberal Capitalism
V. Feeding Neoliberal Capitalism: M. T. Anderson’s Feed (2002)
1. Conceptionariums and Air Factories – The Commodification of Life and Nature
2. “I Did Not Get the Job” – Network Standards, Neoliberal Capitalism, and the Feed
3. Trendy Riot Gear & Evil Corporations – The Absence of Resistance
4. “Hope was looking off to the side” – The Inefficiency of ‘External Criticism
VI. Predatory Capitalism Throughout History: David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004)
1. From Empire to Corpocracy – The History of Capitalism
2. “Free Will Plays No Part in My Story” – Networks and Path Dependence
3. A “Cannibals’ Banqueting Hall” – Consumption and Its (Narratological) Limits
4. “Hydra” versus “A Multitude of Drops” – ‘Immanent Criticism’ as Compass for Reform
VII. Clones and Free-Market Capitalism: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005)
1. Our “Most Marketable Stuff” – The Commodification of Life, Art, and Sex
2. “Tommy Had Brought All His Problems on Himself“ – Individuals Within Networks
3. The Logic Behind Rebellion – The Confusion of Voluntariness and Freedom
4. “That Frightened People” – The Failure of ‘External Criticism’
VIII. Dystopia, ‘Immanent Criticism’, and its Eutopian Implication
IX. Works Cited


Autoreninformation:
Annika Gonnermann hat am Lehrstuhl für Anglistische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Mannheim gelehrt und promoviert. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Dystopieforschung, sowie Kritische Theorie und Kapitalismuskritik.
Mehr Informationen
ISBN 978-3-8233-8459-5
EAN 9783823384595
Bibliographie 1. Auflage
Seiten 352
Format kartoniert
Ausgabename 18459
Auflagenname -11
Verlag Gunter Narr Verlag
Autor Annika Gonnermann
Erscheinungsdatum 19.04.2021
Lieferzeit 2-4 Tage

„Absent Rebels makes an essential contribution to dystopian studies and pursues new horizons in scholarship by tracing in elegant details the changes and modifications of the genre.“

Fantastika Journal 6,1 (2022) / 19.04.21

„In any case, Gonnermann’s book is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to analyse twenty-first century neoliberal dystopias. The structure of the text and the detailed analysis of the novels she has chosen offer an ideal framework for any scholar wishing to apply the same theories to their own contemporary dystopian research. In a field which requires significant expansion, Gonnermann has successfully presented a model for branching out and away from reworking the same traditional dystopian texts over and over again.“

Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy / 19.04.21