Original Research

Psychoanalysis, science fiction and cyborgianism

J. Sey
Literator | Vol 17, No 2 | a607 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v17i2.607 | © 1996 J. Sey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1996 | Published: 30 April 1996

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J. Sey, Department of English, Vista University, Soweto Campus, South Africa

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Abstract

Central to this paper is the understanding that much of crucial importance to psychoanalytic thought rests on a conception of the subject as inseparable from a history of the body a history in turn inseparable from the central tenets of Oedipus, in its turn a concept which originates in and is illustrated by literature. The paper will suggest that when recent cultural theorists, drawing on the implications of cybernetics and infoculture theory, contest the psychoanalytic notion of the subject, it is not surprising that they do so in terms of the possibility of an alternative body - a hybrid form of subjectivity between human and machine. Nor, the paper suggests, is it surprising that it should be science fiction, a genre with a long-standing concern with the possibility of such an amalgam, which supplies the key evidence for a post-oedipal theory of this "cyborg" subject. The paper concludes by speculating on the productivity of the conjunction between literature and thinking about the body, inasmuch as this conjunction attempts to establish a new anthropology of the self.

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