The early twenty-first century has seen a radical shift in how the aesthetic form of the novel addresses the abstraction of labor and the precarity of minority communities that have come to epitomize neoliberal capital. Novels increasingly attempt to formulate institutions apart from the privatizing drive that seeks to corporatize all civil society. This ambition to differentiate the novel from the primary ideology of this period has been marked by the emergence of a particular mode of critical rejoinder to the pervasive corporatist mind-set, a mode called limit thinking, in which novels draw attention to themselves as texts with which to produce new forms of thinking rather than as storehouses of information or political treatises. The writer Kazuo Ishiguro's novels Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go present limit thinking as a means to offset the prevailing form of totalizing thinking in the West: corporate personhood. That corporate body, with its obvious intentions toward absolute privatization, has been allowed a unique form of embodiment. The imagined body of the corporation has been gifted the presumption of thought. Understanding the limits of the novel—and by contrast the seeming limitlessness of the corporate state of mind—prepares us to understand how the novel resists an epistemological system into which it incorporated and how, in doing so, it shifts the kinds of questions we ask of the novel from those of what does the novel know? to how is the novel thinking?

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