The Year of the Flood

Fredric Jameson writes:

The Year of the Flood is neither a sequel to Oryx and Crake nor a prequel, but rather both at once, in what might better be called a parallel narrative, where the godlike figures of the first book (the figures who became gods, let us rather say) are reduced to secondary roles and walk-on parts . . . Here we are more clearly able to perceive the breakdown of modern capitalist society into the various private contractors to whom social needs are outsourced, and behind them the enormous corporations that have replaced all the traditional forms of government. (‘The Compounds were where the Corps people lived – all those scientists and business people Adam One said were destroying old Species and making new ones and ruining the world.’) Here also we glimpse the forms of resistance aroused by the devolution in which what we still consider social and technological progress consists – they range from the survival of the most sadistic to the banding together of small groups and the formation of new religions or, more ominously, to what is called ‘bioform resistance’.

(LRB 10 September 2009)

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