Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of
our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and
write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to
unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive
globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world.
Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that
have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence
of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and
William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don
DeLillo are American authors who explore this phenomenon thoroughly
in their work. Engaging the works of each in conversation, Mark C.
Taylor discusses their sophisticated representations of new media,
communications, information, and virtual technologies and their
transformative effects on the self and society. He focuses on
Gaddis's The Recognitions, Powers's Plowing the Dark, Danielewski's
House of Leaves, and DeLillo's Underworld, following the interplay
of technology and religion in their narratives and their imagining
of the transition from human to posthuman states. Their challenging
ideas and inventive styles reveal the fascinating ways religious
interests affect emerging technologies and how, in turn, these
technologies guide spiritual aspirations. To read these novels from
this perspective is to see them and the world anew.
Subjects: Language & Literature, Religion
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