Posthuman Temporality: Mitchell’s Ghostwritten


This paper reads David Mitchell’s figuration of the posthuman subject, specifically its curious temporality, in relation to Heidegger’s notion of Dasein as itself an instantiation of futurity. In Being and Time Heidegger offers a way of coming to understand the human as temporally fixed as both futural and as a site of an aporetic historicality: in other words Being comes to know itself as a repetition of a prior—if not an a priori—repetition: “Dasein is as it already was, and it is ‘what’ it already was”; “Dasein ‘is’ its past in the way of its own Being” (Being and Time 41). My aim here is to explore a series of questions: If Heidegger’s representation of the doubly-inflected temporality of the subject holds, does Mitchell’s figuration of posthuman subjectivity as a continuum of repeating partial objects not stand as a confirmation of an all-too-human (rather than posthuman) position?

Read Article On Muse