کتاب آخرین انسان

اثر مارگارت آتوود از انتشارات ققنوس - مترجم: سهیل سمی-داستان پاد آرمان شهر

آخرين انسان «با عنوان اصلی اوريكس و كريك» رمانی است عاشقانه كه در گذشته اتفاق افتاده و در آينده روايت می‌شود؛ آينده‌ای كه در آن انسانی روی كره‌ی زمين باقی نمانده جز يك نفر، غذايی ندارد جز يك انبه، مورچه‌ها هجوم برده‌اند داخل زرورق تنها شكلاتی كه داشته، باد تنها پتويش را برده و نويسنده، مارگارت اتوود، برای تنها دختری كه دوست داشته سرنوشتی عجيب رقم زده. او آن‌قدر خواندنی و پركشش اين گذشته در آينده را روايت كرده كه خواننده را كاملا درگير می‌كند تا كتابی با اين حجم را يك نفس بخواند. بی‌جهت نيست كه نام اين اثر در فهرست نهايی جوايز متعددی در سال ۲۰۰۳ جای داده شد؛


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Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake is a novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has described the novel as speculative fiction and @adventure [email protected] rather than science fiction because it does not deal with things @we cant yet do or begin to [email protected] and goes beyond the realism she associates with the novel form. The novel focuses on a post-apocalyptic character with the name of Snowman, living near a group of primitive human-like creatures whom he calls Crakers. Flashbacks reveal that Snowman was once a boy named Jimmy who grew up in a world dominated by multinational corporations and privileged compounds for the families of their employees. Near starvation, Snowman decides to return to the ruins of a compound named RejoovenEsence to search for supplies even though it is overrun by dangerous genetically engineered hybrid animals. He concocts an explanation for the Crakers, who regard him as a teacher, and begins his foraging expedition.
Main characters: Snowman, Crake, Oryx, Sharon, Jimmys father, and Ramona.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2006 میلادی
عنوان: اوریکس و کریک؛ نویسنده: مارگارت اتوود؛ مترجم: سهیل سمی؛ تهران، ققنوس، 1383؛ در 511 ص؛ شابک: 9643115119؛ داستانهای نویسندگان کانادایی - قرن 20 م
اوریکس نوعی آهوی آفریقایی، و کرِیک پرنده‌ ای ست که در فارسی به ترتیب به آن‌ها : «تیزشاخ» و «یلوه ی حنایی» گفته می‌شود. اوریکس و کریک لقب دو نفر از شخصیت‌های اصلی کتاب است که از نام همین دو حیوان که در زمان وقوع داستان منقرض شده‌ اند انتخاب شده است. رمان در زمانی آغاز میشود که نسل انسان بر اثر شیوع بیماری از بین رفته؛ و تنها یک نفر از بازماندگان آنها در کنار نسل جدیدی از انسانهای تولید شده در آزمایشگاه به زندگی ادامه میدهد. با فلش بک و یادآوری خاطرات توسط همین جیمی خوانشگر از چگونگی ماجرا آگاهی پیدا میکند. ا. شربیانی

مشاهده لینک اصلی
در طول خواندن کتاب به ژول ورن و چیزهایی که نوشته و پیش بینی کرده فکر میکردم، شاید خیلی از پیش بینیهای ژول ورن به واقعیت پیوسته اما دعا میکنم که پیش بینیهای آتوود در این کتاب در همین کتاب باقی بمونه

مشاهده لینک اصلی
So, you go to Wal-Mart to buy your groceries because its so damn cheap, but then you realize Wal-Mart is hiring very few full-time employees and not offering reasonable health care to its employees and its walking employees through the process of how to get Medicare, not to mention theyre closing down small businesses by exploiting foreign economies to get the lowest possible fucking cost; so, Wal-Marts making YOU pay medical benefits for ITS employees, and replacing good jobs with shitty ones, and you dont want to support that, not to mention most of their food comes from the big corporations that have copyrighted their grains and are in the process of pushing small farms out of business by suing them for copyright infringement after their seeds blow onto the smaller farmers land, so you decide to shop somewhere else, and isnt it time to go organic anyway, so you drive over to Trader Joes and load up your cart, that feeling of guilt finally subsiding.

So you get home and you unload your reusable bags and load up the fridge and then, as you slide a boxed pizza into the freezer, you see, printed across the bottom, @Made in [email protected]

So now, youre shopping for your groceries at a different store from where you do the rest of your shopping, adding to your carbon footprint, not to mention theyre transporting your pizzas across half the fucking earth before they land on your shelf. So, you may not be selling out your next door neighbor, but now youre shitting a big one right on Mother Earths face.

You head down to the local farmers market and buy some little pygmy apples the size of clementines, and theyre all weird colors but theyre from some local farm, and you buy some locally made bread and buy some. . . wait, what is this? Red Bull? Doritos? All of a sudden you realize only the fruit here is local, and some of the bread, so you find another farmer across town you can buy beef from, and another farmer who you can get pork from, and now youre buying all locally, and driving all over Gods red desert to get everything you need, and spending twice what you did at Wal-Mart, and spending half your saturday collecting food. Now, youre contributing to the local economy and not giving money to the giant food corporations that are trying to push small farms out of business. . . but youre still driving all over to buy the shit, and burning through petroleum like a motherfucker.

Face it: when it comes to the continuity of life on this planet, you are a pest. Youre the renegade cell, eating away at all of the nice and friendly cells around you. I know Im not telling you anything new right now: youve seen The Matrix, youve heard about overpopulation, global warming, oil spills and you know how totally, absolutely fucked polar bears are right now, but its always been like that ever since you were born, and we keep coming up with new sciences, so inevitably something will come up to save the day, right? Well take some polar bear DNA and store it, and once were all caught up with Jurassic Park technologies, well bring em back. And, by the time we get to there, well be able to stop raising cows; we can just raise steaks: little flat cows that dont have brains, dont have needs other than maybe watering them and spooning nutrients into their slack mouths, and sea-urchin-like chicken creatures without any minds that we can make into chicken fingers, and none of them will feel a thing, so there wont be any question, ethically speaking, right? Right?

Dont hit me up with your @playing [email protected] argument, because thats bullshit. We @play [email protected] when we amputate a gangrenous leg, when we remove a tumor, when we brush our fucking teeth. So, what is really wrong with growing steaks in soil, and not raising cows in huge concentration camps where they hang out in their own shit all day? Whats wrong with doing away with coffins, and simply mulching our loved ones? Theyre going in the dirt either way.

If were being utilitarian, is our urchin-chicken happier or less happy than our chicken in a lightless pen with ridiculous pecs so oversized his legs are broken? What about the chicken who has gone mad and is now pecking other chickens to death? Probably urchin-chicken. Im just saying.

That said, I wouldnt eat urchin-chicken, if I wanted to go out on a limb and say a company would be required to even TELL me the product I was buying was urchin: @Warning: this product is made from something that tastes like, but isnt, a [email protected] They dont tell me when my steaks are cloned, or through what fucked up chemical reactions theyve made my food, so I have my doubts.

Whats wrong with growing a mindless food animal, much the way we grow corn or rice or soy? Whats wrong with growing mindless clones of ourselves, just for the purpose of harvesting their organs? This would be an easier question to answer if I wasnt an atheist, and I could quote an instruction book, but I cant.

I have to answer the question, and Ill give an answer that Atwood kinda-does-but-doesnt: we dont know what will happen. We didnt know sea walls would increase erosion in other parts of the river when we first started building them. We didnt know that lighthouses would kill tons and tons of birds because birds fly toward the light. We didnt know that carbon emissions could be a problem until wed flooded tons of them off into the atmosphere. So, why shouldnt we use science to make the world cater to our every desire and impulse?

Because we cant even predict the weather.




********



Oh, you want me to talk about the book? Yeah, I guess I could do that. As you can tell by my meta-review, this one gets the gears in your head turning. But, the characters were all flat and, although full of potential, ended up dull. The post-apocalyptic world were reading about is intriguing, as are the new creatures that have replaced humans. The bizarre, freakish animals created by science are also perfectly horrific.

That said, some of this feels like a pretty big stretch. According to Atwood, well eventually be desensitized enough that well enjoy watching people tortured to death online, and well also like watching little children having sex with grown men. And Im not talking about in a @2 girls 1 cup,@ watch-it-once-because-it-sounds-fucked-up way. . I mean, she imagines people will sit around watching this shit all the time. Perhaps Im a prude, but I dont think either of these will ever become popular with more than a small audience. My cynicism only goes so far, I guess.

Far as dystopias go, this is an interesting and unusual one. Its also an entertaining and quick read. I wish Atwood wouldve invested a bit more time in filling out these characters, and given us a five-star book instead. . . but nobody bats 100%. Im looking forward to trying some of her non-science fictiony works soon.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I wonder if all Margaret Atwoods books are like this one? Having read @Oryx and [email protected] and @The Handmaids Tale,@ I am curious now how many other ways of horrifying me she has up her sleeve.

@Oryx and [email protected] is a dystopian (or as Atwood calls it herself, a speculative fiction) novel set in a future where genetic engineering rules the world. The story is told from the POV of Snowman, a seemingly last Homo sapiens sapiens on Earth. He is surrounded by the new breed of humans - passive, docile Children of Crake who are physically flawless, void of envy and jealousy, do not understand violence or sexual drive, unable to be artistic or comprehend technology. As the story progresses, through Snowmans recollections, we gradually learn the sequence of events leading to the fall of humanity as he knew it and Snowmans own contribution to it.

The structure of the book is very similar to that of @The Handmaids [email protected] So if you liked the writing style of that book, with constant shift of tenses, past and present mingled together, youll enjoy @Oryx and [email protected] too. Once again, Atwood takes a current trend (this time its bio/genetic engineering) and extrapolates it to an insane extent, creating a horrifying world of social disparity, violence, genetic hybrids, raging man-made viruses... The authors imagination is limitless, her command of English language is mind-blowing. This book is so much more than a science fiction novel that it so often labeled. It is a deeply philosophical book that raises numerous questions: is it wise to artificially alter something created and perfected by Nature over millions of years? does a man have a right to engineer a @perfect [email protected] and decide who lives and who dies? or is there such a thing as a @perfect [email protected]?

Just like @The Handmaids Tale,@ the ending is uncertain. The fate of Snowman and humanity is questionable. Will the humanity survive? Will Crakers overtake? Are Crakers really what Crake intended them to be - the perfect beings? There are no answers, and I am happy there arent. This book is not intended to tell us what is right and what is wrong, rather it makes us think about what might be...

Reading challenge: #13, 3 of 5

مشاهده لینک اصلی
** spoiler alert ** This is the second dystopia Atwood has written, and I think its less successful than The Handmaids Tale. Her vision here is of a not-too-distant future in which the US is divided into corporate-owned gated communities where the (biotech) companies owners and highly-paid skilled workforce live and the lawless, sprawling urban wasteland where everyone else lives.

Unlike virtually every other Atwood book I know of, the two main characters are male. The narrator, Jimmy, and his childhood friend Crake grow up inside one of the gated communities, bonding over Internet pornography and shared cynicism. As Crake grows up, it becomes evident that he is a genius, so he gets accepted to an elite science-and-technology school and drafted into a biotech firm while hes still a student. While he works there, he cooks up an apocalyptic plot to release a superbug disguised as a libido-enhancing pill once hes perfected his own synthetic race of humanoids, which he designed as an answer to everything hes identified as @[email protected] with human nature. For example, the @[email protected] have photosynthetic pigment in their skins, which means they do not have to kill to eat. Crake also designed them to be cheerfully promiscuous and have obvious signals of sexual receptivity, thus eliminating conflict over sex. Crakes a real humanitarian, except for the whole @kill off Mankind [email protected] part of his plan.

Structurally, the novel suffers from being too long and taking too long for the story to move forward. Indeed, the whole thing is told in flashbacks, with Jimmy reminiscing as the Crakers pester him for stories of their creator. Atwood erred on the side of too much description in Handmaids Tale as well, but that was a shorter novel (maybe 100 less pages than Oryx and Crake) and the society she was revealing to us was better realized.

Also, a lot of touches that were clearly meant to be satirical fall flat. One of Crake and Jimmys favorite pastimes in youth is playing computer games, and the games Atwood comes up with are transparent attempts to shock us with the nihilism of her young antiheroes. Also, every other object in the novel is given some cutesy brand name. This is clearly an attempt to mock the corporatization of global culture, but the effect is just irritating.

None of the characters particularly register, either. Two of Atwoods trademark Elusive Women figure in this novel --- Jimmys mother runs off while Jimmy is a preteen, for reasons we never learn, and when Jimmy meets up with Crake again when they are adults, and Crake is designing his new species, Crake has a mistress named Oryx, who never allows either man to get to know her, though she sleeps with both. The difference between these and other Elusive Women (say, Grace Marks in Alias Grace, Zenia in The Robber Bride, Joan in Lady Oracle or Marian in The Edible Woman) is that the others either revealed themselves to the reader if not to the men in their lives, or (like Zenia and Grace) gave us enough interesting possibilities that we cared to speculate as to their true natures. These women elude not only Jimmy and Crake, but also the reader.

The men, though given (many) more pages of character development, are nearly as flat. Crake is a clear instance of metaphor abuse: he is indicated to be @mildly autistic,@ as the college he attends is nicknamed Aspergers U. and he disparages his old high school as containing @wall-to-wall [email protected] As his autism never appears in his behavior or becomes relevant to the story (indeed, it is never mentioned except in the chapter titled @Aspergers [email protected]), I suspect it was only brought up to underscore the single salient point of his character, which is his detachment from the rest of the human species. The sole salient point of Jimmys character seems to be that he is not Crake.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Sometimes Im torn between wishing I could get a glimpse inside Atwoods mind and thinking that might be absolutely terrifying.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
What a fantastic dystopia awaits! Our post-apocalyptic fate will surely be a wonder to behold. Atwood BUILDS UP when any other sensible writer writing today about the doomed future would simply TEAR DOWN. In this compulsively-readable novel, the fabulous formula borrows some ingredients from such classic books as @The Island of Dr. [email protected]& @Jurassic [email protected]; @The [email protected] and @Never Let Me Go*@ derive from the same line of thought as it! Its basically SUPERIOR to all of those books (save, maybe, the fourth*) & in bringing so much imagination to the forefront it gives us good evidence that great, lasting literature does not have to be boring. Inventing a Whole New World, creating an Origin tale, establishing a stream of consciousness which gives up to the reader enough clues to continue on his way to unravel the secret at the center of the novel (Who is the elusive Oryx? Who is the mysterious Crake?). Miss Atwood does it all, & not a single page disappoints. Seriously. Here is a rare example of chaos being handled with expert skill.

It is WAY more accessible, it should be mentioned, than the often-(over)praised @Handmaids [email protected], which is as feminist a tale as this modern novel is humanist. (Individualism of the 80s in strict contrast with the Globalization of the 10s). Animal hybrids and new species are invented, as are whole new words and classification systems. Atwood is intrepid in the creation of this fun, original terrain, which is in itself a theme of the novel (!!!) And lets not forget to mention a fresh plot, heavy with allegory but also as effortless as air, in both the elements of comedy and surprise. It is a book as exotic as any blue-assed member of the Children of Crake.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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