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David Mitchellís Cloud Atlas and the Queer Posthuman


Hortle, L, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and the Queer Posthuman, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, 27, (4) pp. 253-274. ISSN 1043-6928 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/10436928.2016.1235930


"I watched clouds awobbly from the floor oíthat kayak," recounts Zachry Bailey in David Mitchellís popular literary novel Cloud Atlas (2004). Bailey deciphers a transcendent form of human subjectivity in the skies above him: "Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, aní thoí a cloudís shape nor hue nor size donít stay the same itís still a cloud aní so is a soul. Who can say where the cloudís blowed from or who the soulíll be ímorrow?". This oft-cited quotation is central to the novelís representation of the human, which sees iterations of humanity repeating across history, genres, texts and bodies to form an insistently and recurrently human whole. The novel thus imagines true human identity through nonhuman imagery; clouds, together with metaphors of water and comets, reflect a transcendent human identity unrestricted by bodily materiality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Cloud Atlas, posthumanism
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Literary studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Hortle, L (Mr Luke Hortle)
ID Code:118657
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-07-17
Last Modified:2017-11-14

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