"Freedom for just one night": the promise and threat of information and communication technologies

Maria Bäcke

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Traditionally technology has been a male area of interest; not many novels have been written about technology from a female perspective. It has largely been true that, as Barbara Page puts it, women often have an aversion ‘to computer technologies and programs thought to be products of masculinist habits of mind’ (112). However, with a broadening perspective and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), a growing number of women also take interest in, advantage of – sometimes even change – the technology to meet their own requirements. Reflecting this shift, Jeanette Winterson’s The PowerBook and Pat Cadigan’s children’s book Avatar are two examples of novels where ICT play a major role. That women often see the benefits of a less regulated space provided by the technology is explored in these two novels. Édouard Glissant explains how computers can generate a ‘‘space within the indeterminacy of axioms” (84, my italics). According to Glissant this indeterminacy opens up possibilities and “creates the opportunity for an infinite sort of conjunction, in which science and poetry are equivalent. […] The poetic axiom, like the mathematical axiom, is illuminating because it is fragile and inescapable, obscure and revealing. In both instances the prospective system accepts the accident and grasps that in the future it will be transcended” (85). The indeterminacy is destabilizing, and together science and literature create an imaginary space where imaginative (hence ideological) liberation is possible.

TidskriftWomen Writers : a zine
StatusPublicerad - 2007
Externt publiceradJa

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