In his article, “The Extinction Race: Techniques of the Human in Proust, via Houellebecq” James Dutton “reads” identity and race from the point of view of technics. Namely, he does so through the work of two nominally “Eurocentric” authors, Marcel Proust and Michel Houellebecq, observing how familial and racial resemblance is a living inscription of “lost time.” This inscription comes about through the technical means available to and constitutive of the categories which bind them. Thus, instead of furthering unfinishable racial distinctions which only serve to support discourses of racism, this article follows assertions made in the novels of Proust and Houellebecq which read atavism as narrative—that is, all that could be reconstructed from the marks of any, or all, human history. In doing so, these texts emphasize how inscription—which comprises and “gives” all of culture, identity, and race—is bound to the interpretive futurity of reading, collapsing all sense of racial survival and extinction into the writing of remains.
"The Extinction Race: Techniques of the Human in Proust, via Houellebecq."
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