Whereas in “You Can Have a Body Like Mine”, the bodies themselves were plastic, shape-shifting until they lost all traces of their original form, in “Something New Under the Sun”, the plasticity became something exotic and dangerous. Is. No one, including its suppliers, knows enough about Watt-R to predict its actual consequences – as Kleiman describes it in the book, it stems from a capitalist desire to profit from human-induced scarcity.
“Things we always need, like land, living space, resources, get privatized and turned into property,” Kleiman said.
In the novel, only the wealthy in the Malibu Hills have access to temperature-controlled interiors and real water, which they see WAT-R wreaking biological and topographical havoc on the less fortunate below. Back in New York, Patrick’s wife, Alison, suffers from a panic disorder, a sense of impending doom coupled with the willful oblivion of everyone around her.
“He’s, to me, the most recognizable character,” Kleiman said. “I have a lot in me.”
Patrick’s 9-year-old daughter, Nora, represents the precocious, guarded optimism of a younger generation. “It is difficult to live a life without contradictions, but it is not impossible to know what those contradictions are,” Kleiman said. “And to keep trying to figure out a way, or to think of a slightly better situation.”
Too often, she thinks, pessimistic dystopian narratives reinforce the status quo rather than improve it. He cited Fredrik Jameson’s quote that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.” Kleiman writes as if to say: Look at me.
An assistant professor at The New School, Kleiman teaches graduate classes on the dystopian style. His collaborator, the novelist Marie-Helen Burtino, often receives students previously taught by Kleiman. “They’ll just grumble about how intelligent she is and how she can open up to literature in a way that amazes them,” Burtino said.
One of the stories taught by Kleiman is “The Savage Mouth” by the Japanese author. sakyo komatsu, in which a person systematically cuts off and consumes his own body parts so as not to be responsible for taking the lives of other beings. He took it out of his mother’s bookshelf and read it with horror and fascination at the age of 11. “If you don’t want to do any harm to the world, do you really have to turn inward?” He asked.