Extrapolation

Monster Realism and Uneven Development in China Miéville's The Scar

Extrapolation (2009), 50, (2), 258–275.

Abstract

Focusing on The Scar, this article argues for the superior symptomatic realism of its generic structure and plot. Its narrative setup might legitimately be thought of as "steampunk" alternate history, and it defamiliarizes the relationship of determinacy between technological and cultural development, both in the abstract and by allegorical reference to the present. The Scar's adventure plot of perspectival reversals trains the attention on uneven developments, again in the abstract and in the present. The geopolitical and spatial coordinates of the novel are tailored to give symbolic reach to a tension between mercantilism and capitalism, or to the contemporary return of mercantilism within capitalism

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Author details

Kendrick, Christopher