Spatial Stream of Consciousness

Substance 48 (1):5-25 (2019)


This article examines Olivier Rolin's use of stream of consciousness narration in L'invention du monde (1993). It draws upon philosophers Peter Sloterdijk and Paul Virilio to propose that the novel—with its obsessions for information, technology, and space—depicts a crossroads of subjectivity. At that crossroads, natural and computational connotations of "stream" collide, fueling the novel's central crisis. The misadventures of Rolin's postmodern, post-industrial, satellite-inspired Phileas Fogg reveal a central conundrum of accelerated globalization: namely, that the informational and technological mastery of our world comes at the price of sacrificing the ability to meaningfully position oneself within it.

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