posthumans in critic Leslie Fiedler's 1965 talk

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 20:45:27 MDT

One of the most interesting American literary critics in the middle of the
20th century, Dr Fielder was rare in not wholly abominating science
fiction. I just ran across some intriguing cites from his 1965 paper at a
conference on `The Idea of the Future' (in full in his COLLECTED ESSAYS,
1971, which I don't have):

"...the post-human future is now, and if not we, at least our children, are
what it would be comfortable to pretend we still only foresee...

`The myth' of science fiction is

"quite simply the myth of the end of man, of the transcendence or...
transformation (under the impact of advanced technology and the transfer of
traditional human functions to machines) of *homo sapiens* into something

He diagnosed these as `mutants', found in fictional form variously in John
Wyndham and Arthur Clarke. We now know better, hee hee.

Damien Broderick

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