Vol. 6 No. 2 Dec. 2022

The Agency of Matter in Brian Castro's The Garden Book
Author:Lili Ma, Daoxian Zhong    Time:2023-01-03    Click:

The Agency of Matter in Brian Castro’s The Garden Book

Lili Ma, Daoxian Zhong

Page 044-055

Abstract: This paper examines the non-human actants in Brian Castro’s novel The Garden Book, including nature, the human body, and human artifacts in light of Jane Bennett’s theory of vibrant matter and Castro’s own arguments about the status of objects. Castro subverts the life-matter binary in this novel, giving attentiveness and respect to material powers, as well as affect and empathy to objects, thus undermining anthropocentrism. In a pandemic era in which humans and non-humans are seen as more interconnected than ever, such empowerment and understanding are not only significant, but also necessary to build a harmonized community.

Keywords: agency of matter, non-human actant, life-matter binary, empathy

Doi: 10.53397/hunnu.jflc.202202005

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