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Shakespearean spiders and Shakespearean slime mould: allusion and posthuman identity in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time novels

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-11, 14:39 authored by Sarah Brown

This article draws on the debts to Shakespeare – in particular Hamlet, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest – in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time novels in order to illuminate the trilogy’s complex engagement with posthuman identities. It identifies and analyses a sustained pattern of connections between Tchaikovsky’s allusive processes and the various biological processes which drive the trilogy’s complex plot. In response to critical disagreement over whether Tchaikovsky embraces or rejects an anthropocentric view of the universe, it argues that Shakespeare’s own practice of arguing in utramque partem, on both sides of the question, provides a model for decoding Tchaikovsky’s complex, shifting and playful exploration of humanity’s encounters with very different life forms.



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Liverpool University Press

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  • Accepted version

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  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences Outputs