This article argues that Margaret Atwood’s postapocalyptic MaddAddam trilogy, composed of the novels Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam, imagines how humankind might come to reconstitute itself at the end of the Anthropocene—that is, once it has decimated the planet and driven itself to the brink of extinction. The answer that Atwood offers is bound up with the question of sexual difference. This novel suggests that rewriting “the human” at the end of the Anthropocene will require destabilizing mankind’s dominion not just over the natural world it inhabits but over womankind as well. The article argues that in the MaddAddam trilogy, the relation between “man” and “woman” is negotiated through the relation between the biopolitical management of life and the ethical response to individual lives that have been deemed disposable.
Calina Ciobanu; Rewriting the Human at the End of the Anthropocene in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy. the minnesota review 1 November 2014; 2014 (83): 153–162. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-2782351
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