Abstract

Contemporary culture views DNA through a strange temporal logic: on the one hand, technologies of DNA identification and sequencing testify to fundamental transformations in the way we understand biology, anthropology, law, and medicine—we live in "the DNA age"; and on the other, these technologies have revealed as much about the past as they have about the present or future, gesturing backwards to scenes of conception, crime, and evolutionary branching. The essay shows how this double temporal logic operates within William Gibson's electronic poem Agrippa. It concludes that the poem's stanzas form a metaphorical DNA fingerprint that reveals Gibson's life to be, paradoxically, a novel repetition of his father's and grandfather's lives.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6520
Print ISSN
1063-1801
Pages
pp. 25-48
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-12
Open Access
No
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