Subjects of Substance
Recent American Literature and the Materiality of Mind
Subjects of Substance traces the ways in which materialist conceptions of selfhood inspire and shape recent U.S. literature. While disciplines like neuroscience and evolutionary biology transform the human self from an immaterial essence into a material construct, authors likewise develop conceptions of somatic subjectivity in conjunction and in contrast with scientific and medical discourses. The present study examines the forms, functions, and effects of materialist models of mind in a number of memoirs and novels. Authors discussed include Michael Clune, Don DeLillo, Kay Redfield Jamison, Siri Hustvedt, Richard Powers, Elyn R. Saks, and David Foster Wallace.