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Darwinia, de Robert Charles Wilson





Robert Charles Wilson’s Darwinia may be qualified as an ‘alternative metahistory’ as well as a ‘literature of genres’ (the plural is deliberate). These two traits come out of a careful reading of the processes used in the novel to produce an alternative history and therefore, indirectly, to inscribe history into it. They rest upon the combination of multiple cultural references, put together to lead to a creative distortion of History. The perception of this is entrusted to the reader’s historical knowledge, and to the reader’s interpretative activity, but it is also facilitated by formal poetics borrowed from the popular novel. This range of cultural and textual processes construct an allegorical plot in which History, the Archives, and a forgotten novel of Edgar Rice Burroughs are treated and rewritten in a postmodern way.

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