Maddaddam Analysis

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The Dialectic between the Written and the Spoken Word in Maddaddam

Postmodern literature is interested, resides many things, in emphasizing the artificiality of any created work. For this purpose, the postmodern writers use different Tools like metafiction and dynamic stasis. The use of these also results in making the reader question the way the entire world is percieved through created works. In Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood, the narrative voice presents transcriptions of oral myths in the making. These trascriptions fall in the definition of dynamic stasis coined by Linda Hutcheon. By the use of the paradox created by the transcriptions and the orality they left behind, the narrative voice ejemplifies the struggle she, Toby, is going throughout
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He states in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man that “it can be argued , [...], that the phonetic alphabet, alone, is the technology that has been the means of creating the 'civilized man ' ” (McLuhan 91). He believes that the introduction of the phonetic alphabet created a new configuration in society; “Civilization is built on literacy because literacy is a uniform processing of a culture by a visual sense extended in space and time by the alphabet” (McLuhan 93). But he also believes that there is a negative side to the written word as the literate man separates from imagination, emotions and a sense of life through the writting process. One last consideration he proposes is that although the literate man dissasociates from his inner sensibility, he also wins freedom from his clan or family (95).
In “The Postmodernist Scribe: The Dynamic Stasis of Contemporary Canadian Writting”, Lunda Hutcheon summarizes McLuhan 's theory by explaining the set of contraries that he elaborated: “The written (the visual) was cool, indifferent, causal, civilized. It was private and static. On the other hand, the oral (the auditory) was hot, empathetic, magical, mythic. It was public and dynamic” (Hutcheon 52). And she adds that she believes contemporary Canadian novelists follow the theory presented by McLuhan (Hutcheon
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To do so, and create in the reader a question about how myths and sacred texts are creater, it is written as speculative fiction. In “The Uses of Genre and Classification of Speculative Fiction” by R.B. Gill, the clasification of this genre is explained thorougly. Gill explains that genres should be classified accordingly to the categories of values that are present in the texts. Thus, different genres are interested in different categories. He explains that speculative fiction is interested specially in “categories of engagement or social critique and categories of replacement or surrogate experience” (Gill 78). And that speculative fiction is separated from science fiction by a fine thread. “Engaged works of speculative fiction may present other realitiesm but their alternate worlds will comment on this world negativelly to satirize it 's shortcommings, or possitively to provide a model of emulation, as in some utopias” (Gill
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