"Are we not men," bark the creatures residing in H.G. Wells's fantasy island, and cultural critic Ollivier Dyens looks into the issue in his book Metal and Flesh. Arguing that culture has redefined and even supplanted biology, he wants us to see and perhaps guide the changes we're wreaking on our bodies and the world.
Incorporating literary analysis and deft sociological synopsis, Dyens shows the reader how we have embraced technology so thoroughly that we are practically helpless without it. But ultimately, he says, our nature is still cultural, and he is surprisingly optimistic (if wary) about our lives, even if he's informed by the cyberpunk canon, Kafka, and 1984. As he says near the book's close: "We are not becoming cyborgs but sketches, pictures, writings, songs, and dances. Within us, all phenomena intermingle." Postmodern or Zen--Dyens leaves the reader with a warm, but restless, inner glow.
ISBN: 0 262 04200 2
signature: 5.1 DYE