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Comingtogether: Symbiogenesis and metamorphosis in Paul di Filippo’s a mouthful of tongues

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on human-animal compositions, drawing on new evolutionary theories and philosophical texts that use concepts originating in the natural sciences for my reading of literary configurations of the human. At the same time, the chapter investigates works of narrative fiction that enact symbiogenetic accounts of the origins of species and that, consequently, show us worlds inhabited by transgenic posthumans and couplings between human and nonhuman animals. Apart from the more widely discussed SF authors Octavia Butler and Greg Bear, who openly acknowledged their indebtedness to the work of Margulis. Like Haraway, di Filippo is the author of a manifesto, Ribofunk: The Manifesto, that expresses a discontent with cyborg figurations: the cyber prefix has been irreparably debased by overuse, in vehicles ranging from comic books to bad movies.

Keywords: A Mouthful of Tongues; Paul Di Filippo



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