These new, off-side stories continue M.A.C. Farrant’s exploration of the relation of fiction to the evolving corporate construction of reality in the media and information age. Objective reality (what’s out there) in our culture has become a performance of make-believe (fiction), and the disassociation and confusion this causes in our private lives often triggers uncontrollable tragi-comic effects in people—a deadening lethargy and/or a destructive violence acted out in a context of the most excruciatingly bright banalities.
Reading The Origin of the Species today, we realize that the prevailing view of the universe is always only that—the prevailing view—and that the job at hand is therefore to discover the constantly recurring human “will to meaning,” the ways in which we frame existence, sustaining ourselves in the face of what we continue to convince ourselves is the inevitable.
Darwin Alone in the Universe stands against the view that we live in a “post-historical” world in which whatever history we now possess is served up as the current spectacle in a tyranny of the perpetual “now.” It is a reaffirmation of history as a process that clears a path through the world, making sense of making sense, temporarily. In this, or any world, literature becomes an antidote to the stranglehold the corporate media has on the public’s imagination, and is the place where uncontaminated thought can still be found, “where individual voices surface relentlessly like life-rings in a wild sea.”