Transhumanism longs not only for the enhancement of human capabilities but also for the end of suffering; that longing conflates the destiny of the individual with that of the human species. This essay examines the ideals that are most central to the transhumanist imaginary, showing that they are less exotic than is suggested by their aura of futurity, and that their implications for the present are largely thanatopolitical in nature. Examining Don DeLillo’s novel of cryogenics, Zero K, and Michel Houellebecq’s utopian/dystopian novel, The Possibility of an Island, the essay discusses the role of teleology in transhumanist thought, and its connections to mainstream intellectual and ideological tendencies in postwar biopolitics, particularly the figure of rehabilitation. This is contrasted with the stubborn presence in the transhuman imaginary of contingent embodiment, which provides some hope in the face of thanatopolitical despair.


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pp. 805-823
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