By Ulrike Küchler, Silja Maehl, Graeme A. Stout
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Additional resources for Alien Imaginations: Science Fiction and Tales of Transnationalism
But which text and which world? If it makes sense to refer to the possibility of this interrupted encounter as itself war, perhaps this is because it always was one for straight white men trying to care for themselves in the midst of the problem they themselves have become, in a world on the wane. The War of the Worlds thus demands to be read as an intricately coded signal transmitted to Earth as if from survivors of the deliberate catastrophe of kinship, a catastrophe made unimaginable by the simple fact that it always already was.
If one, in following the formalist school, distinguishes between the plot and the story by characterizing the former as the sequence of diegetic events as related versus that sequence as lived, then one is struck by how Wells’ text is plotted such that it is narrated after the fact. The narration of the war always places it in the time of the was. We know the outcome of the story almost immediately—a fact structurally repeated in the very existence of an epilogue—and Wells’ achievement is to produce an enabling amnesia that sustains what suspense the story is capable of generating.
However, this form of textual repetition does not stop there. Or, put diﬀerently, it assumes precisely the form of what earlier I called scriptura interruptus, a detail that ties in a rather startling way the motif of copulation control to the very medium of printed prose. One of the more striking features of The War of the Worlds is its organization of the plot/story relation and the attendant distribution of narrative voice. If one, in following the formalist school, distinguishes between the plot and the story by characterizing the former as the sequence of diegetic events as related versus that sequence as lived, then one is struck by how Wells’ text is plotted such that it is narrated after the fact.
Alien Imaginations: Science Fiction and Tales of Transnationalism by Ulrike Küchler, Silja Maehl, Graeme A. Stout
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