کتاب آخرین انسان

اثر مارگارت آتوود از انتشارات ققنوس - مترجم: سهیل سمی-داستان علمی تخیلی

آخرين انسان «با عنوان اصلی اوريكس و كريك» رمانی است عاشقانه كه در گذشته اتفاق افتاده و در آينده روايت می‌شود؛ آينده‌ای كه در آن انسانی روی كره‌ی زمين باقی نمانده جز يك نفر، غذايی ندارد جز يك انبه، مورچه‌ها هجوم برده‌اند داخل زرورق تنها شكلاتی كه داشته، باد تنها پتويش را برده و نويسنده، مارگارت اتوود، برای تنها دختری كه دوست داشته سرنوشتی عجيب رقم زده. او آن‌قدر خواندنی و پركشش اين گذشته در آينده را روايت كرده كه خواننده را كاملا درگير می‌كند تا كتابی با اين حجم را يك نفس بخواند. بی‌جهت نيست كه نام اين اثر در فهرست نهايی جوايز متعددی در سال ۲۰۰۳ جای داده شد؛


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I am calling complete, and total, bullshit.

There are so many things wrong with this book that its hard to know where to begin. For starters, the idea of having a couple of different timelines going at once, and shift tenses according--present tense for the present, regular past tenses for the past--causes some serious grammatical problems, and is an utter BS plot device. Im not a huge fan of telling a story through flashbacks, but it can be done reasonably while retaining proper grammar. Its not brain surgery.

I admit that I went into this book predisposed not to like it, for a variety of reasons. I didnt like The Blind Assassin (yes, I might be the only person IN THE WORLD who can say that), but I thought that I should be fair and give an author another chance before I make up my mind. I also generally dislike dystopic literature, because its so rarely done right. Her basic idea was kind of interesting (if done better in Richard Mathesons I Am Legend, and even that had its problems), but the execution was fatally flawed. I dont know much about science, but I do know that some of the research was wrong and the timelines dont add up. She seemed like she researched just enough to be able to throw words around, but not enough to use them correctly--a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The biggest problem was the characters, though: three such utterly unsympathetic main characters do not make it easy to like anything about the story. Crake was a rabid dog that needed to be put down a lot sooner than he was, Oryx was probably insane and too cold to make you care, and Snowman was just too damn stupid. Also, characters that you meet while theyre watching child porn to me means that they should be first in line for the electric chair, not that I should care about their personal problems.

The biggest problem I have with Atwood, though, is a problem that seems to be systemic in her works: shes so bloody arrogant. When you open one of her books, youre immediately hit in the face by a thought bubble: She is writing World Changing Literature, and you should grovel before her genius. You have to dig through layers of ego just to get to the plot. She has talent, no doubt, but she is so full of herself and her ability to be a Literary Writer that you miss the book forest for the literary trees.

Also-also, she probably thought that ending was clever, but it was, in fact, a cop out. She was bored with the book, she wanted to end it, so she did. It must be convenient to not have to actually tie up her loose ends.

In summary, I am clearly too much of a plebeian to appreciate the full extent of her genius, and I should crawl back to the benighted hole from whence I came.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
eh.

bore-x and crake. this is a very all right book. i was just unwowed by it. initially, i liked the pacing of the book, and the way the story was spooling out between the present and past, doling its secrets out in dribs and drabs. but the characters just seemed so flimsy, and i was ultimately left with more questions than explanations. and the cutesy futuristic products and consumer culture bits are best left in the hands of a george saunders, not the queen of the long pen. however - and this maybe counts as a spoiler, but its just a minor plot point that is revealed somewhere in the middle and its not like - @oh - she has a [email protected] or @they were dead the whole [email protected], so i say it does not qualify. but riding the train to school today, i understood the potential value for pills given to the public that they would think were to improve their sex lives but were secretly sterilizing them. the thirty or so teenagers that plowed into the train screaming and carousing who then decided that the crowded subway was the best place to get into a full-on hair pulling bitchslap fight cannot be allowed to breed. please give us those pills, geneticists... i will bake you a delicious raspberry pie.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
One Generation Away

I often find it difficult to tell whether Atwood’s dystopian fantasies are meant as constructive social criticism or as sarcastic prophecy. Recent headlines suggest that her prophetic skills dominate, and with them her anticipatory sarcasm.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the MeToo movement, for example, the British actress Joanna Lumley is reported to be fervently hoping that “not all men are bad” [https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainm...]. As Spencer Tracey said in the 1955 film, Inherit the Wind, when told by the trial judge in the Scopes monkey case that he hoped that Tracey wasn’t mocking the court, “Your Honor has every right to hope.” So, no Joanna, it’s hard to find a good one; but please go on hoping.

I think it’s fair to say that there is little hope for males in Oryx and Crake. Certainly not for the protagonists of Jimmy/Snowman nor the eponymous Crake who are both thoroughly misogynistic from puberty onwards. They humiliate females in their fascination with kiddie-porn and their fantasy of women as either saints or incompetents. But the oblique references to male oppressors goes far beyond the characters of the story. If I interpret Atwood correctly, she includes Adam Smith, Moses, Freud, Darwin, Gandhi, and perhaps even the genetic scientists Watson and Crick as symbols of a male-dominated corporatocracy.

And she’s undoubtedly right: The XY genetic make-up is clearly defective. After all how does one otherwise explain the recent tragedy in Toronto in which ten people were killed and another fifteen seriously injured [https://www.thelily.com/who-are-incel...]? This insane atrocity was carried out by a so-called ‘incel’, that is, an involuntarily celibate male. His murderous grievance was against women because they found him sexually unattractive. His considered strategy for revenge was random homicide by motor vehicle. One such nut-case would be embarrassing for man-kind; but it is reported that more than 40,000 men subscribe to a Facebook account which promotes an Incel Movement.

Atwood’s anticipation of the Incels is remarkable. Crake is a Jim Jones-type of scientific genius who is responsible for a world-wide genetic make-over. Part of the Crakian genetic re-design for humanity - thereby creating the ‘children of Crake’ - is the ritualization of sexual activity so that males don’t feel bad when rejected by prospective female mates. Otherwise the world would continue to be plagued by “... the single man at the window, drinking himself into oblivion to the mournful strains of the tango. But such things could escalate into violence. Extreme emotions could be lethal. If I can’t have you nobody will, and so forth. Death could set in.”

As a solution, the losers in courtship rituals in Crake’s new world immediately lose all sexual desire - as well as their glowing blue penises - as soon as they receive the negative news. Men are pigs and are in need of fundamental reconstruction in other words - even by their own assessment.

Or more accurately, men are ‘pigoons’ according to Atwood’s story-line. Pigoons are one of the many new species created by modern genetic ‘splicing’. In this case: of pigs and raccoons. Other varieties include rakunks, snats, wolvogs, bobkittens, spoat/ giders, and rabbits that glow with the genes of jellyfish. These invasive and predatory animals are mis-attributed as the ‘Children of Oryx’. This is another misogynistic swipe since Oryx is an Asian girl sold into slavery who becomes both a porn-star and Jimmy’s feminine muse (a dig at Jung?) whenever he has enough booze to stimulate alcoholic hallucinations.

One might think that Atwood’s literary reach might have exceeded her intellectual grasp in conceiving such strange creatures as pigoons. But in today’s news appears the astounding announcement that pigs’ brains are now being kept alive outside their bodies [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetec...]. The scientists involved (apparently all of them men) believe that it is possible to repeat this remarkable feat with any mammal. And that, therefore, inter-species splicing is indeed feasible. Human immortality, some believe, is at hand. The children of Crake indeed: “... human beings hope they can stick their souls into someone else, some new version of themselves, and live on forever.”

It is not just their genes that are questionable. Male minds are philosophically harmful in their rationalization of male power as beneficial in an Invisible Hand sort of way. The benign logic of competitive personal ambition - for advancement, for reputation, for wealth, for making the world better - is a mere excuse for power-seeking. The male mind is warped in its essential isolationism: “He [Jimmy] wanted to be himself, alone, unique, self-created and self-sufficient.”

The quest for power ensures only one thing: an increase in the destructiveness of power. Another way of saying the same thing: an increase in power requires exploitation - of the environment, of animals, and of other people, particularly of women. Someone or something always loses in the competitive hormonal struggle. “Crake made the Great Emptiness,” say the men.

The zero-sum game in the male-dominated world is enshrined by the children of Crake in its creational mythology: “Crake made the bones of the Children of Crake out of the coral on the beach, and then he made their flesh out of a mango. But the Children of Oryx hatched out of an egg, a giant egg laid by Oryx herself. Actually she laid two eggs: one full of animals and birds and fish, and the other one full of words. But the egg full of words hatched first, and the Children of Crake had already been created by then, and they’d eaten up all the words because they were hungry, and so there were no words left over when the second egg hatched out. And that is why the animals can’t talk.”

Crake, in other words, not only eliminated sexual rivalry, he also destroyed the possibility of intelligent conversation. Even Jimmy, his disciple and quondam advertising copywriter, recognizes the profundity of the loss: ‘“Hang on to the words,” he tells himself. The odd words, the old words, the rare ones. Valance. Norn. Serendipity. Pibroch. Lubricious. When they’re gone out of his head, these words, they’ll be gone, everywhere, forever. As if they had never been.”’

Crake’s debasing of language is actually part of an ideology: “The whole world is now one vast uncontrolled experiment – the way it always was, Crake would have said – and the doctrine of unintended consequences is in full spate.” This ideology is, I think, the central theme of Oryx and Crake. It is an ideology of chaos, of irrational rationalistic inquiry and technological development, an ideology which conforms to the competitive, driven strangeness of masculine ‘nature’.

The latest headlines from California about Bill Cosby’s conviction make it difficult to disagree with Atwood at any point. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...].

مشاهده لینک اصلی
How can someone make up such a fascinating and terrifying story? Wow.... I absolutely loved it. It took me some time to take this book from my book shelves, it was there already some time, it seemed a bit weird, but after having read the Handmaids Tale, I took up the challenge and it was well, well worthed. An apocalyptic story about a guy who seems to have remained as the sole human alive after an epidemic catastrophy leading to mankind going down. Together with the weird Crakes children he survives and its tough. The story alternates beween his youth and past and the apocalyptic world in which he has to survive and the story leads up slowly to the events that lead to the catastrophy. Highly recommended and highly fascinating. It took me some time to read it as I did not have much time to read, but every page was worthed and it was even worthwhile taking everything in intensively in stead of reading fast.
I am now officially a big fan of Margaret Atwood and looking forward to read the sequel.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Snowman has spent a terrible night, full of confused, whiskey-sodden dreams, and when the Children of Crake call to him from the bottom of his tree he is still mostly asleep.

@You dont [email protected] he shouts. @Youre not even characters in a Margaret Atwood novel! Youre just part of a review. And Manny wont write it until Jordans finished the book as [email protected]

None of this makes sense to Snowman, and it makes even less sense to the Children of Crake.

@What is a [email protected] asks Eleanor Roosevelt.

@And who is [email protected] asks Madame Curie. @Is she the same as [email protected]

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)



مشاهده لینک اصلی
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