• Ecopathography: Capgras Syndrome and Brain Plasticity in Richard Powers's The Echo Maker

    Author(s):
    Robin Chen-Hsing Tsai (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Subject(s):
    Materialism, Sociology
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    140 Bodily Persistence: Curating Better Medicine through Posthumanist
    Conf. Org.:
    MLA2021
    Conf. Loc.:
    Toronto
    Conf. Date:
    7 January, 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
    Tag(s):
    biomedicine, Posthumanism, New materialism, Medical humanities
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/k2yg-jk38
    Abstract:
    Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker is a neuro-narrative of recovery in which Mark Schluter’s brain damage caused by a car accident results in Capgras syndrome, meaning “a delusional misidentification disorder.” Though Mark physically recovers from his injuries, his sense of reality is reversed: whatever is genuine becomes fake. In order to help restore her brother’s health, Karin writes to neurologist Dr. Gerald Weber requesting that he travel from New York to visit her bother. In this essay, I attempt to reread the two major narrative threads —the narrative of the migration of sandhill cranes and Mark’s cerebral wound—in terms of Catherine Malabou’s notion of plastic materialism, especially the plasticity of the newly wounded Mark who is caught between a split and search for constancy. While demonstrating Mark’s Capgras syndrome as a cerebral event, this paper also articulates the formation and deformation of self brought about by the possibility of accident, which transforms the body, the habitat of the cranes, and the human relationship into a matter of mutation of essence.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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