Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the Iraqi novel Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013, English translation 2018) by Ahmed Saadawi. It explores Saadawi’s reimagining of the original creature from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) in post-2003 Baghdad as a being built out of the corporeal remains of Iraqi civilians killed in waves of political violence. The essay shifts critical attention from the metaphorical significance of this creature to the medical logic of its anatomy, bringing the novel into conversation with US narratives of ‘biomedical salvation’ (Jennifer Terry) that emphasized the medical advances catalyzed through treatment of injured coalition soldiers and from which Iraqi civilian casualties were excluded. I argue that Saadawi’s novel mirrors structural elements of these biomedical salvation narratives while ultimately destabilizing their logic, exposing the disturbing biosocial realities in post-2003 Iraq and their material consequences.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6571
Print ISSN
0278-9671
Pages
pp. 439-463
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-19
Open Access
No
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