Event Title

Illusion of Control: The Struggle for History and Humanity

Location

Lovejoy 213

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

Through the increasing documentation occurring in the individuals everyday life, through the government, through social media, the question of historys place in contemporary culture arises- who is the author of history, how is the struggle over authorship played out within contemporary literature, and where does humanity fit within this struggle? I argue that the struggle for authorship within contemporary society has suspended history. Contending authors constantly rewrite the pre-narrative, the event history records, prohibiting society from moving forward. Whoever gains the ultimate authorial role, whoever becomes the author of history, controls humanity. To examine this occurrence within contemporary society, I have analyzed four texts produced post-2000: Haruki Murakami's 2011 novel 1Q84, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's 2006 film 'The Lives of Others', Vernor Vinges 2007 futuristic novel Rainbows End, and Cormac McCarthys 2006 post-apocalyptic novel The Road. To frame this literary analysis, I use Baudrillards notion of laundering history, conspiracy theory, and thoughts on the future of narratology to express the theoretical milieu within contemporary society that perpetuates the continual rewriting of the pre-narrative. The first half of my literary analysis uses George Orwells 1984 as a lens to analyze Murakami's 1Q84 and von Donnersmarck's 'The Lives of Others', for they directly engage in this work, reviewing the notion of Big Brother and surveillance within modern culture. In Vinges Rainbows End and McCarthys The Road, I look at the consequences of this suspension on the future of society. To avoid the futures Vinge and McCarthy present, a new interpretation of the individual and its place in society must be created.

Faculty Sponsor

Margaret Ericson

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. English Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

274

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:30 AM

Illusion of Control: The Struggle for History and Humanity

Lovejoy 213

Through the increasing documentation occurring in the individuals everyday life, through the government, through social media, the question of historys place in contemporary culture arises- who is the author of history, how is the struggle over authorship played out within contemporary literature, and where does humanity fit within this struggle? I argue that the struggle for authorship within contemporary society has suspended history. Contending authors constantly rewrite the pre-narrative, the event history records, prohibiting society from moving forward. Whoever gains the ultimate authorial role, whoever becomes the author of history, controls humanity. To examine this occurrence within contemporary society, I have analyzed four texts produced post-2000: Haruki Murakami's 2011 novel 1Q84, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's 2006 film 'The Lives of Others', Vernor Vinges 2007 futuristic novel Rainbows End, and Cormac McCarthys 2006 post-apocalyptic novel The Road. To frame this literary analysis, I use Baudrillards notion of laundering history, conspiracy theory, and thoughts on the future of narratology to express the theoretical milieu within contemporary society that perpetuates the continual rewriting of the pre-narrative. The first half of my literary analysis uses George Orwells 1984 as a lens to analyze Murakami's 1Q84 and von Donnersmarck's 'The Lives of Others', for they directly engage in this work, reviewing the notion of Big Brother and surveillance within modern culture. In Vinges Rainbows End and McCarthys The Road, I look at the consequences of this suspension on the future of society. To avoid the futures Vinge and McCarthy present, a new interpretation of the individual and its place in society must be created.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/381