Madoc: A Mystery

Year
Creator
Country
Ireland
Publication Type
Technologies referenced
Sentiment
Characters
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Description (in English)

"Madoc" is a long poetic sequence, also with a narrative element. It is based on the imagined establishing of a utopian pantisocratic community in the New World by the Romantic poets Coleridge and Southey. Each poem in the sequence has, as its a title, the name of a Western philosopher or scholar in brackets. The sequence is thus a critique and commentary of the imperial project in North America, and the role of the Western philosophical tradition as a foundation for colonialism. It also has a science fiction element in the passage that also refers to machine vision: the main character South (referring to Southey) is caught breaking into a futuristic corporation called Unitel, and is harnessed to a "retinagraph" - the narrative that follows is then scanned from the back of his retina (thus reversing the gaze of the coloniser). 

Pull Quotes

"When he ventured forth from the smallroom
he activated a sensor-tile
that set off the first in a series of alarms
and sent a ripple through Unitel.

[...]

Then an oxygen-mask.
And, though one of his eyes

was totally written-off,
he was harnessed to a retinagraph.

[...]

So that, though it may seem somewhat improbable,
all that follows
flickers and flows
from the back of his right eyeball."

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