Interrogating the Past and Speculating the Posthuman Future in Generation 14

Open Inquiry Archive

Vol. 5, No. 1 (2016)

Interrogating the Past and Speculating the Posthuman Future in Generation 14

By Manali Karmakar


As a hybrid and non-canonical genre, postcolonial science fiction allows us to address the concept of culture from the margins and to develop critical strategies of interrogation and de-canonization. This paper focuses on Priya Sarukkai Chabria’s Generation 14 (2008) in order to throw light on how the writer, through her central character Clone 14/54/G, interrogates the notion of received historiography. The clone’s remembrance of her progenitor’s research on Indian history made it possible for her to revisit different temporalities of ancient India, thereby offering an alternative understanding of the nation’s past. The clone’s journey to the past and her experience as an engineered being influence her understanding of human which is not confined to the notional category of Homo sapiens. Instead the clone is influenced by the holistic notion of universe which is allied with the idea of posthumanism that eschews any presupposed privilege to the ontology of organic humanness. Along with such themes, Chabria’s Generation 14 can be interpreted as the stylistic enactment of Homi Bhabha’s notion of hybridization as well the as subversive strategy of misappropriation.

Keywords: postcolonialism, hybridity, subaltern history, identity crisis, posthumanism

Full text of article available here.

Text copyright 2016 Manali Karmakar

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