Extrapolation

Rhizomatic Horror

Eclipsed Narrative and Experimental Weird Fiction in Steve Beard's Digital Leatherette

Extrapolation (2012), 53, (1), 1–23.

Abstract

Bruce Sterling recently criticized the fiction of Steve Beard as "being based in quote, Theory, unquote" and that this academicism is ineffective for slipstream fiction. This article suggests that Beard's novel, Digital Leatherette (1999), is not slipstream fiction but rather an intervention in New Weird fiction. Beard employs the conceptual structure, the rhizome, formulated by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari as the diegetic framework for his novel. The result is an assemblage of fictions that refer to a constitutive narrative; yet, this unified diegesis remains eclipsed and unnamable. Digital Leatherette confronts H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror in an age where the "inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents" is more of a formal axiom than aphorism.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Beard, Steve. Aftershocks: The End of Style Culture. London: Wallflower Press, 2002. Print. Aftershocks: The End of Style Culture Google Scholar

Beard, Steve. Digital Leatherette. Hove: Codex, 1999. Print. Digital Leatherette Google Scholar

Beard, Steve. Logic Bomb: Transitions from the Edge of Style Culture. London: Serpent's Tail, 1998. Print. Logic Bomb: Transitions from the Edge of Style Culture Google Scholar

Beard, Steve. Perfumed Head. London: Book Works, 1997. Print. Perfumed Head Google Scholar

Cavendish, Richard. A History of Magic. New York: Taplinger, 1977. Print. A History of Magic Google Scholar

Davies, Owen. Grimoires: A History of Magic Books. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Print. Grimoires: A History of Magic Books Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. "Rhizome." A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. London: Athlone Press, 1988. 3-25. Print. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia 3 25 Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. What Is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. Print. What Is Philosophy? Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques. Spectres of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International. Trans Peggy Kamuf. New York and London: Routledge, 1993. Print. Spectres of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International Google Scholar

Guattari, Félix. "The Postmodern Impasse." The Guattari Reader. Ed. Gary Genosko. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996. 109-13. Print. The Guattari Reader 109 13 Google Scholar

Harriot, Thomas. "A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia." London: 1558. Libraries at U of Nebraska-Lincoln Electronic Texts in American Studies. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=etas Google Scholar

Joshi, S T. The Evolution of the Weird Tale. New York: Hippocampus, 2004. Print. The Evolution of the Weird Tale Google Scholar

Joshi, S T. The Modern Weird Tale. London: McFarland, 2001. Print. The Modern Weird Tale Google Scholar

Laycock, Donald C. The Compete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language as Revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley. 1978. York Beach: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2001. Print. The Compete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language as Revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley Google Scholar

Leland, Charles Godfrey. "The Algonquin Legends of New England; or, Myths and Folk Lore of the Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribes." Boston: Mifflin, 1884. Sacred Texts. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/ne/al/index.htm. http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/ne/al/index.htm The Algonquin Legends of New England; or, Myths and Folk Lore of the Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribes. Boston: Mifflin, 1884 Sacred Texts Google Scholar

Lovecraft, H. P. Supernatural Horror in Literature. At the Mountains of Madness. Ed. China Miéville. New York: The Modern Library, 2005. Print. Supernatural Horror in Literature. At the Mountains of Madness Google Scholar

Lovecraft, H. P. "The Lurking Fear." The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories. Ed. S. T. Joshi. New York: Penguin, 2004. 62-81. Print. The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories 62 81 Google Scholar

Lovecraft, H. P. "The Call of Cthulhu." The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. Ed. S. T. Joshi. New York: Penguin, 1999. 139-69. Print. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories 139 69 Google Scholar

Miéville, China. "Weird Fiction." The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction. Ed. Mark Bould et al. New York: Routledge, 2009. 505-15. Print. The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction 505 15 Google Scholar

Oberg, Michael Leroy. The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand: Roanoke's Forgotten Indians. Philadelphia, PA: U of Pennsylvania P, 2008. Print. The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand: Roanoke's Forgotten Indians Google Scholar

Pound, Ezra. The Cantos of Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1996. Print. The Cantos of Ezra Pound Google Scholar

Sterling, Bruce. "Slipstream." Electronic Frontier Foundation. Web. 18 Oct 2011. http://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/Bruce_Sterling/Catscan_columns/catscan.05. http://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/Bruce_Sterling/Catscan_columns/catscan.05 Slipstream Electronic Frontier Foundation Google Scholar

Sterling, Bruce. "Slipstream 2." Science Fiction Studies 38.1 (2011): 6-10. Print. Slipstream 2 Science Fiction Studies 38 6 10 Google Scholar

Surette, Leon. The Birth of Modernism: Ezra Pound T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, and the Occult. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 1993. Print. The Birth of Modernism: Ezra Pound T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, and the Occult Google Scholar

VanderMeer, Jeff. "The New Weird: ‘It's Alive?’." The New Weird. Ed. Ann Vander-Meer and Jeff VanderMeer. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2008. ix-xviii. Print. The New Weird ix xviii Google Scholar

Wilson, Colin. The Occult. 1971. London: Watkins Publishers, 2006. Print. The Occult Google Scholar

Wilson, D. Harlan. "Interview: Steve Beard." The Dream People: A Journal of Bizarro Texts. 31 Oct. 2008. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. https://www.msu.edu/~dhw/dreampeople/issue27/interviewbeard.html. http://www.msu.edu/~dhw/dreampeople/issue27/interviewbeard.html Interview: Steve Beard The Dream People: A Journal of Bizarro Texts 31 Google Scholar

Yeats, W. B. "The Second Coming." The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats. 2nd ed. Ed. Richard J. Finneran. New York: Scribner's Paperback Poetry, 1996. Print. The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Wenaus, Andrew