Monday, February 25, 2008

I was thinking recently of the way identity is approached by Gibson, thinking specifically of the desperate need to escape or transcend it that seems to have taken hold of Mankind in his novel Neuromancer. Though this desperation seems to have manifested itself in many forms within the novel's society, for example, with inorganic prosthetics, the one that I believe to be the most central to its story is the incorporeal experience of jacking into The Matrix. Jacking in essentially removes the limitations that physicality creates. The Matrix shares the idea of an examined, edited, and perfected persona made possible by the modern day Internet and makes it a living, breathing reality. One goes online and, temporarily at least, no longer has to live confined to a solitary existence. They coalesce with this gargantuan world of information data and can technically be anything that they desire. This could be interpreted as a sexual thing. All of these people becoming a commune to elevate themselves from their restrictive forms certainly sounds a bit like intercourse to me. I may be way off, what do you guys think?

1 comment:

The Constructivist said...

You're definitely onto something--Gibson repeatedly has Case make links between jacking in and getting off; even his narrator picks up on this metaphor. Wendy Chun has a great reading of this pattern in the novel in Control and Freedom. The dissertation her book is based upon is entitled Sexuality in the Age of Fiber Optics, so you can see why she'd have chosen to write on this aspect of Neuromancer.