Oryx and Crake: Exploring the Mind-Body-Soul Relation

“When did the body first set out on its own adventures? Snowman thinks; after having ditched its old traveling companions, the mind and the soul, for whom it had once been considered a mere corrupt vessel, or else a puppet acting out their dramas for them, or else bad company, leading the other two astray. …

… “But the body had its own cultural forms. It had its own art. Executions were its tragedies, pornography was its romance.”

Oryx and Crake, pg. 76


Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (which I have not finished yet, please no spoilers!) explores the relationships between body, mind, and soul, grounding the tale of genetic manipulation in more familiar philosophical territory. The titular Crake, at least, is (so far) tied directly to the materialist viewpoint, one I hold near and dear to my heart. What follows is a page of my materialist scrawlings, produced at 2AM after reading the passage above.

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Dear Person at the Party

Fun party, right? I said, FUN PARTY, RIGHT? Sorry, did you say something? I can’t – I SAID I CAN’T HEAR YOU! Fuck, this music is loud. Wanna head out for a smoke? I SAID – fuckin’ Christ… *Shakes cigarette pack, gestures toward door*

Ah, that’s better. So uh, this is officially the part where I run out of things to say. I think you’re cute, or at least find you interesting in some way. I wouldn’t have bothered to bring you out here, otherwise. Do I look interested? I’m trying to look interested. I mean, I AM interested, but I’d sound like a crazy person if I just turned to you and said “I’m interested,” right? So I have to LOOK interested. Without looking, you know, INTERESTED. With emphasis.

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