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    Reading Very Well for Our Age: Hyperobject Metadata and Global Warming in Emily St John Mandel's Station Eleven

    Eve, Martin Paul (2018) Reading Very Well for Our Age: Hyperobject Metadata and Global Warming in Emily St John Mandel's Station Eleven. Open Library of Humanities 4 (1), pp. 1-27. ISSN 2056-6700.

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    In recent years, the practices of symptomatic reading have been called into question by scholars such as Stephen Best, Sharon Marcus, Cathy N. Davidson, David Theo Goldberg, Rita Felski and Bruno Latour. It is claimed that such readings have become either formulaic or politically inefficacious. This article argues, against such thinking, that Emily St. John Mandel's Arthur C. Clarke-award winning novel, Station Eleven [2014], presents several challenges for an age of so-called post-critical reading. A novel that is, in some ways, about how the future will “read” our present, I here use the metaphor of "metadata" to think through the series of ruined objects that project a hyper-object like extent across the two epistemic contexts in Station Eleven. I argue that this is a comment on interpretative reading practices and an invitation to politicised symptomatic readings of the novel. Using this approach, I show that Station Eleven is a novel that is deeply concerned with global warming and with colonial nationalist legacies, even while such concerns appear buried – or even absent – within the novel. However, if one takes the novel’s surface instruction to look for “another world just out sight”, these concerns of the early-twenty-first century emerge as central to the forking futures of Mandel’s work.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Martin Eve
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 15:52
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 12:36


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