Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay argues for the similarities between Margaret Atwood's recent speculative fiction in Oryx and Crake (2003) and Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and the "speculative narratives" created by financial and political organizations—in particular, the scenario planning narratives written by major corporations, consulting firms, and government agencies. Using performativity theory to analyze corporate and government scenario plans in addition to Atwood's work, I argue that the authors of these narratives similarly imagine they have the ability to turn the hypothetical into the material through the commissive power of promising language. Situating Atwood's work in the context of modern forecasting and connecting it to long-standing questions about the novel's political efficacy, I argue that the fantasy of technology's and fiction's performative power over material reality is central to Atwood's politics.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1512
Print ISSN
0039-3827
Pages
pp. 228-249
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.