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The Child to ComeLife After the Human Catastrophe$
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Rebekah Sheldon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816689873

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816689873.001.0001

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(p.55) 2 Life
The Child to Come

Rebekah Sheldon

University of Minnesota Press

The second chapter continues with the equation of the child in relation to the future, taking up the centrality of reproduction to any ethics premised on human survival. Through a reading of Joanna Russ’s 1977 novel We Who Are About To, it considers narrative structures that refuse generational survival and intergenerational rescue, as rescue requires everything to hold its shape, to remain as it is, long enough to be rescued. Therefore, it isn’t that the world is acausal but that causality is richer and stranger than rescue and survival narratives can imagine. Ideologies of reproduction are one of the modes by which we attempt to manage biological, chemical, and ontological affectivities.

Keywords:   Joanna Russ, Ethics, Human survival, Narrative structures, Narrative tropes, Literary criticism, Science fiction criticism, Child studies

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