Feb. 3 (Shaj)
Bruno Latour: An Overview
Professor at Sciences Po; doctorate in theology; interests in sociology, anthropology; one of the founders of science and technology studies (STS)
1. “The Postcritical Turn”
Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern,” Critical Inquiry 30 (Winter 2004): 225–48.
“Of course, we in the academy like to use more elevated causes—society, discourse, knowledge-slash-power, fields of forces, empires, capitalism—while conspiracists like to portray a miserable bunch of greedy people with dark intents, but I find something troublingly similar in the structure of the explanation, in the first movement of disbelief and, then, in the wheeling of causal explanations coming out of the deep dark below. What if explanations resorting automatically to power, society, discourse had outlived their usefulness and deteriorated to the point of now feeding the most gullible sort of critique?”
I have always fancied that what took great effort, occupied huge rooms, cost a lot of sweat and money, for people like Nietzsche and Benjamin, can be had for nothing, much like the supercomputers of the 1950s, which used to fill large halls and expend a vast amount of electricity and heat, but now are accessible for a dime and no bigger than a fingernail. As the recent advertisement of a Hollywood film proclaimed, “Everything is suspect . . . Everyone is for sale . . . And nothing is what it seems.”
Other “postcritical” thinkers:
- Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation” (1964)
- Eve Sedgwick, “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading; or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Introduction is About You,” Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction (1997)
- Rita Felski, Uses of Literature (2008) & The Limits of Critique (2015)
- Sharon Marcus & Stephen Best, “Surface Reading: An Introduction,” Representations (2009)
- Heather Love, “Close But Not Deep,” New Literary History 41 (2010)
2. “The Nonhuman Turn”
Latour. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991.
Latour. “A Collective of Humans and Nonhumans.” Pandora’s Hope. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1999.
But my main point is that…an increasingly large number of humans are mixed with an increasingly large number of nonhumans, to the point that, today, the whole planet is involved in the making of politics, law, and soon, I suspect, morality. The illusion of modernity was to believe the more we grew, the more separate objectivity and subjectivity would become, thus creating a future radically different from our past. After the paradigm shift in our conception of science and technology, we now know that this will never be the case, indeed that this has never been the case. Objectivity and subjectivity are not opposed, they grow together, and they do so irreversibly.
object-oriented ontology / actor-network-theory / “body-corporate”
Feb 10th (Carlos)
Who or What Matters in The Jungle? Human Laborers, Nonhuman Commodities, and the Problem of “Muckraking”
The Jungle was supposed to about humans. In November 1904, Upton Sinclair went to Chicago to write a novel about the infamous Union Stockyards. Several months later, he described his work-in-progress in the Socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason; by his account, the novel would “set forth the breaking of human hearts by a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profits” (Gottesman’s Introduction, xxvi). Sinclair hoped to use Jurgis Rudkus’ struggles to expose the inner workings of industrial capitalism. But despite his commitment to “human hearts,” The Jungle was received primarily as a book about nonhumans. As it appeared week-by-week in Appeal to Reason, readers were stunned by its account of adulterated foods and unsanitary working conditions. And once it came out as a novel, it inspired the U.S. government to pass the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Whereas Sinclair wanted to improve human lives, therefore, his readers were more interested in regulating nonhuman commodities. Throughout his life, Sinclair insisted that The Jungle had been misunderstood; as he famously put it, “I aimed for the public’s heart and by accident hit it in the stomach.” In this presentation, I am going to offer three possible explanations for this “accident.” By drawing on Karl Marx, Bruno Latour and Jane Bennett, I will explore the differences between “old” and “new” materialisms. I will conclude by tying these divergent approaches to tensions in contemporary food politics.
Given Sinclair’s socialist sensibilities, it is tempting to take a Marxist approach to The Jungle. In this reading, the novel’s nonhumans exemplify the phenomenon that Marx calls “commodity fetishism.” In Capital Volume 1, Marx claims that commodities have two types of value. On the one hand, they have “use-values,” which are specific qualities that “satisfy human needs” (125). On the other hand, they have “exchange-values,” which are abstract, immaterial quantities established in relation to other commodities. Although they may take on different features in different markets, Marx insists that commodities’ real exchange-values are determined by the “socially necessary labor-time” required to produce them (129). By his account, then, commodities are always already social; while they have practical uses, they also carry “congealed quantities of homogeneous human labor” (128). According to Marx, commodity fetishism occurs when consumers ignore this social dimension—rather than acknowledging their relationships to producers, they believe that they are interacting with mere things. Under these conditions, exchange-value seems like an intrinsic property—thus, a consumer can say that a steak is worth X dollars without thinking of the laborers who raised the cattle, brought it to the slaughterhouse, and so on.
In many respects, the reception of The Jungle seems like a classic case of commodity fetishism. Sinclair’s representation of human labor was roundly dismissed as “Socialist propaganda” (review in The New York Times, March 3rd, 1906). However, his interest in nonhuman commodities was taken up as a national cause. After reading The Jungle, Theodore Roosevelt decided to see just how adulterated the food really was. When his investigators corroborated Sinclair’s claims, Roosevelt led the fight for the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Although the government refused to do anything about working conditions, it laid out meticulous rules for food production and distribution. Roosevelt solidified these tensions in his speech on “The Man with the Muck Rake.” Drawing on a passage from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Roosevelt called for “relentless exposure of and attack upon…every evil practice, whether in politics, business, or social life.” But while he admitted that there was “filth on the floor [that] must be scraped up with the muck rake,” he insisted that one “who never thinks or speaks or writes, save of his feats with the muck rake, speedily becomes, not a help but one of the most potent forces for evil.” In turn, he argued that muckrakers should never write about class: “If it seeks to establish a line of cleavage, not along the line which divides good men from bad, but along that other line…which divides those who are well off from those who are less well off, then it will be fraught with immeasurable harm to the body politic.” Roosevelt’s remarks epitomize the lopsided response to The Jungle—ultimately, he called on Americans to protect consumers while exploiting laborers.
The concept of commodity fetishism helps explain The Jungle’s reception, but it cannot fully account for several tensions in the text itself. Whereas Marx might claim that bourgeoisie reading practices and political culture obscured the relations of production, Bruno Latour calls our attention to the novel’s networks of human and nonhuman actors. With Latour’s help, we can see that nonhumans mediate the relationships between capitalists and laborers. When Jurgis first visits Durham’s meatpacking plant, for instance, the narration suggests that machines have more agency than the actual workers: “it was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics” (38). Once Jurgis starts working, the narration frequently uses the passive voice; by distributing agency across networks of people, animals and machines, it ends up questioning the transformative properties of labor. As the novel progresses, the narration further unsettles the boundaries between humans and nonhumans: while Jurgis is infused with fertilizer, other workers fall into vats of lard or sausage. Although The Jungle appeared a mere forty years after Capital Volume 1, it posited an unprecedented integration of humans and nonhumans—at many points, the novel blurs the lines between living labor and the nonliving means of production. In this sense, The Jungle troubled Marx’s labor theory of value. Moreover, the novel’s engagement with nonhumans shaped its reception in other ways.
While Bruno Latour illuminates the role of technology in The Jungle, Jane Bennett can help us understand the novel’s “vibrant” representations of food. As we have discussed, Bennett defines “vitality” as “the capacity of things…not only to impede or block the will and designs of humans but also to act as quasi agents or forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own” (Vibrant Matter, vii). In her chapter on “Edible Matter,” Bennett explores the assemblages that people form with food. By drawing on Nietzsche, Thoreau and recent nutritional research, Bennett redefines eating as “a series of mutual transformations in which the border between inside and outside becomes blurry” (49). Many of the meats in The Jungle exemplify these “vibrant” qualities. When Jurgis visits Durham’s for the first time, the narration anthropomorphizes the pigs and shows how they control the human laborers. Similarly, once Jurgis’ family begins working in different elements of the meatpacking industry, the narration posits nonhuman matter as both a catalyst for and limit to human ingenuity: “Anybody who could invent a new imitation had been sure of a fortune from old Durham…but it was hard to think of anything new in a place…where men welcomed tuberculosis in the cattle they were feeding, because it made them fatten more quickly” (109). Bennett also draws attention to tensions between matter and representation that develop throughout The Jungle, such as when the narration remarks, “one might see sharp-horned and shaggy-haired creatures running with the sheep—and yet what a job you would have to get the public to believe that a good part of what it buys for lamb and mutton is really goat’s flesh” (109). And of course, Bennett helps us appreciate that the novel has endured for its disgusting depictions of rotting, rancid, and downright “vibrant” matter.
Who or what matters in The Jungle? There are no easy answers to this question. As I have shown, this novel can be understood through the lenses of Marxism, actor-network theory and the “new materialisms.” Just as I cannot choose between these approaches, contemporary food activists have struggled to resolve the competing claims of human labor and nonhuman commodities. In the last decade, a number of “alternative food movements” have critiqued global networks of production, distribution and consumption (I borrowed this term from Julie Guthman’s Weighing In). These movements have a number of goals: some try to reduce environmental degradation, others combat the so-called obesity epidemic, and others call for “slower,” more enjoyable ways of eating. However, they generally take consumption as the locus of food politics—as Michael Pollan has told us, “vote with your fork.” More than one hundred years after Sinclair published The Jungle, alternative food movements are struggling to address production and consumption at the same time. Although Latour has developed a “symmetrical approach” to humans and nonhumans, and although Bennett has examined the vibrant matter that runs between the living and the nonliving, will food politics ever put these theories into action?
Feb. 24th (Faye)
- remembering vs. rememory
- (other potential keywords either not covered or only briefly mentioned: shadows, spirits, doubles/doppelgangers)
- history of the ghostly imagination -> the Native American ghost being central to (Anglo-)American folklore/history
- (colonial) possession/dispossession
- express both moral anxieties and spiritual superiority
- pg. xi -> Bergland: ghost stories as a “technique of removal”
- materiality vs abstraction
- pg. xvi -> “if we turn to the history of ghosts in Britain, and in Europe more generally, we find that hauntings have in fact always been tied to material circumstances”
- pg. xvii -> “For all their immateriality, hauntings were very much about the tangible world they disturbed.”
- wrestling with the “ghost” requires us to be attentive to who or what we understand to be absent in the present
- pg. xi -> “Indigenous people are more than metaphors in the settler imagination, or silenced victims of removal. Rather, they are active participants in the shaping of the uncanny narratives as a form of both resistance and persistence.”
- the futurity of ghost stories or ghost stories as a desire for different futures -> the different afterlives we continue to inhabit; gestures towards what we wish to honor
- pg. xxi -> “Simply put, the survival of both ghosts and Native peoples suggests that for all their power, colonial accounts of progress — whether triumphal or lamenting — are in themselves just another kind of fiction.”
- Read in the conjunctional
- already reading indigenous histories in the conjunctional; how we collapse (erase) a continent’s worth of cultures under the heading of “Native American”
- recognition that we are working in the conjunctional
- pg. xiii -> “blended histories” of NA & AFAM histories
- how the epigraphs speak to each other and to the poems, esp in the “Jacklight” section
- technology and spectrality
- spectrality as a form of emptiness or, put another way, an empty form
- vocality & ephemerality
- seriality; repetition; return
- injunction to understand the implications of our projected future absences
- pg. 286 -> disassembly line; fragmentation/iterability; industrial capitalism (returning us to both Moby Dick & The Jungle)
- in contrast to “The Butcher’s Wife”
- doubles & doppelgangers (The Potchikoo Stories)
- “I was talking about time. It’s so hard for me to believe in it. Some things go. Pass on. Some things just stay. I used to think it was my rememory. You know. Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it’s not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it’s gone, but the place—the picture of it—stays, and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don’t think it, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
- “The Butcher’s Wife” series as multiple ways of remembering/a practice in rememory
- “Remember, there will be no hands,/except remembered hands./No lips, no face,/except remembered face./No Legs and in fact no/appendages, except/the remembered ones/which always hurt/as consciousness hurts./Now do you understand what it is?/Your consciousness/is the itch/the ghost of consciousness,/remembered/from how it felt/to be one of us.” (158)
- The Woods
- The Strange People
- I Was Sleeping Where the Black Oaks Move
- Family Reunion
- Dear John Wayne
- Manitoulin Ghost (compare to Bishop’s “The Man-moth”)
- Clouds (alcohol/drugs as means to access alternate states of being; the aptness of the use of the term “spirits)
- Is the ghost as a nonhuman entity possible without the human? Or is it necessarily a human/nonhuman assemblage?
- What does it mean to become a ghost, to think as a ghost? What does it do to your humanity?
- Can humans access the nonhuman — through knowing or otherwise — be possibly granted? Can it be done ethically?
- What does it mean to encounter a ghost? How do you know when you’ve met one? How do you know a ghost is a ghost?
- How do we make ghosts out of people? Of ourselves?
- What does reading in the conjunctional allow? What questions are possible in that “togetherness”?
- What does a ghost possess?
- How do ghosts/spectrality allow us to come to terms with not just the afterlives of individual persons but also the afterlife of systems? [Saidiya Hartman]
March 2 (David)
Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing.
McCarthy’s notions of narrative, witness, action, dream, and god, which we can see as a type of hyperobject whereby local instances (such as Billy Parham and his journey) are non-discrete parts of a larger whole. This includes the human and the non-human, as well as history, war, and time. This larger world is invisible to human knowledge, which is only a human construction made by lost, estranged souls hoping to save themselves.
Opposed to this is the figuration, or picture, of the world, which serves as an example rather than an instruction. The picture can be perilous, but it is all we have, in a literal sense: the substance of the world lies in stories.
The novel in the context of the Epilogue to Cities of the Plain (google books), where an individual’s life is seen as a map meant for another. Also the dream recounted in the Epilogue as an analogy for storytelling.
For reference: Interactive Map of The Crossing made on Google Maps. (Incomplete)
The world has no name, he said. The names of the cerros and the sierras and the deserts exist only on maps. We name them that we do no lose our way. Yet it was because the way was lost to us already that we have made those names. The world cannot be lost. We are the ones. And it is because these names nad these coordinates are our own naming that they cannot save us. That they cannot find forus the way again.
For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale and all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these also are the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. … Rightly heard all tales are one.
In the end he said that no man can see his life until his life is done and where then to make a mending? It is God’s grace alone that we are bound by this thread of life. He held the priest’s hand in his own and he bade the priest look at their joined hands and he said see the likeness. This flesh is but a memento, yet it tells the true. Ultimately every man’s path is every other’s. There are no separate journeys for there are no separate men to make them. All men are one and there is no other tale to tell.
The truth may often be carried about by those who themselves remain all unaware of it. They bear that which as weight and substance and yet for them has no name whereby it may be evoked or called forth. They go about ignorant of the true nature of their condition, such are the wiles of truth and such its strategems. Then one day in that casual gesture, that subtle movement of divestiture, they wreak all unknown upon some ancillary soul a havoc such that that soul is forever changed, forever wrenched about in the road it was intended upon and set instead upon a road heretofore unknown to it. This new man will hardly know the hour of his turning nor the source of it. He will himself have done nothing that such great good befall him. Yet he will have the very thing, you see. Unsought for and undeserved. He will have in his possession that elusive freedom which men seek with such unending desperation. …
The lesson of a life can never be its own. Only the witness has power to take its measure. It is lived for the other only. The priest therefore saw what the anchorite could not. That God needs no witness. Neither to Himself nor against. … There is another who will hear what you never spoke.
Not so much a map as a picture of a voyage. And what voyage is that? And When?
It may even be that those who lie in desecrated graves—by dogs of whatever manner—could have words of a more cautionary nature and better suited to the realities of the world.
He said that the world was sentient to its core and secret and black beyond men’s imagining and that its nature did not reside in what could be seen or not seen. He said that he could stare down the sun and what use was that?
Quizás hay que poca de justicia en este mundo, the blind man said. But not for the reasons which the sepulterero supposes. It is rather that the picture of the world is all the world men know and this picture of the world is perilous. That which was given him to help him make his way in the world has power also to blind him to the way where his true path lies.
Lo que debemos entender, said the blind man, es que ultimamente todo es polvo. Todo lo que podemos tocar. Todo lo que podemos ver. En éste tenemos la evidencia más profunda de la justicia, de la misericordia. En éste vemos la bendición mas grande de Dios.
Mar 9 (Sunik)
Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Central theme/device of novel: rendering boundaries between various human/nonhuman entities ambiguous—they are not as clearly delineated as we like to think (in Dick’s world, at least).
What emerges from this ambiguity? Does it render the concept of “humanity” completely relative (i.e. Rick is only definitively a “human” because there exist other entities that are “nonhuman,” and nothing is “human” in its own right), or is that concept fixed? Does the novel seek to preserve a unique “humanity” and a reject the nonhuman as exactly that? Or is it welcoming the nonhuman into the realm of the human (an assemblage), encouraged and brought about by technological advances? Does the existence of androids threaten our distinct “humanity,” or does that existence, rather, hold the possibility of a new definition of the “human”?
“We followed the time-honored principle underlying every commercial venture. If our firm hadn’t made these progressively more human types, other firms in the field would have” (55)
“He saw the world through glasses literally dense with dust. For some reason, Sloat never cleaned his glasses. It was as if he had given up; he had accepted the radioactive dirt and it had begun its job, long ago, of burying him. Already it obscured his sight. In the few years he had remaining it would corrupt his other senses until at last only his bird-screech voice would remain, and then that would expire, too” (75)
“To him they’re all alive, false animals included. He probably tried to save it” (77)
“The spider Mercer gave the chickenhead, Isidore; it probably was artificial, too. But it doesn’t matter. The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are” (241)
“Mercer accepts everything. Nothing is alien to him. But what I’ve done, he thought; that’s become alien to me. In fact everything about me has become unnatural; I’ve become an unnatural self” (230)
“Now that her initial fear had diminished, something else had begun to emerge from her. Something more strange. And, he thought, deplorable. A coldness. Like, he thought, a breath from the vacuum between inhabited worlds, in fact from nowhere: it was not what she did or said but what she did not do and say” (67)
“And then, as she ate the slice of peach, she began to cry. Cold tears descended from her cheeks, splashed on the bosom of her dress” (149)
“Rick broke off, the conduits of his brain humming, calculating, and selecting; he altered what he had started to say” (124)
“You androids…don’t exactly cover for each other in times of stress”
“I think you’re right; it would seem we lack a specific talent you humans possess. I believe it’s called empathy” (124)
The boundary between human/android in the novel is determined primarily by empathy—especially empathy towards animals (Voigt-Kampff test). The androids—in this narrative—have no empathy or feeling for animals, which makes them androids; humans do have empathy for animals, which makes them human.
“You are given a calf-skin wallet on your birthday”
“You have a little boy and he shows you his butterfly collection, including his killing jar”
“You’re sitting watching TV…and suddenly you discover a wasp crawling on your wrist”
“In a magazine you come across a full-page color picture of a nude girl”
“The girl…is lying facedown on a large and beautiful bearskin rug”
“One of them orders a lobster, and the chef drops the lobster into the tub of boiling water while the characters watch”
“above the fireplace a deer’s head has been mounted, a full stag with developed horns”
“You become pregnant…by a man who has promised to marry you. The man goes off with another woman, your best friend; you get an abortion”
“The bull, at the end, was always killed”
“The entrée…consists of boiled dog, stuffed with rice” (49)
“Impulsively opening her purse, she produced a pair of clean, sharp cuticle scissors, which she passed to Pris…With the scissors, Pris snipped off one of the spider’s legs…Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling” (206)
“In two cases that I know of, andys owned and cared for animals. But it’s rare. From what I’ve been able to learn, it generally fails; the andy is unable to keep the animal alive. Animals require an environment of warmth to flourish. Except for reptiles and insects” (130)
But it is never that simple: the main force behind empathy for humans in the novel is Mercerism, whereby users enter a virtual reality world (a process that is entirely computerized and depends on technology). And, in the end, Mercerism is revealed (by a TV host) to be a complete hoax, and the Mercer is not a human but rather a technological construction. Another point of ambiguity here: what about that revelation makes Mercerism a hoax? Users clearly strap into a virtual reality; why is it a shock, then, that Mercer himself is computer-generated?
“Wilbur Mercer is not human, does not in fact exist. The world in which he climbs is a cheap, Hollywood, commonplace sound stage which vanished into kipple years ago” (209)
Another instance of ambiguity: the “mood organ,” which allows humans to alter emotional states at will; is a human who relies on a machine to emote truly human? Once again, here, does Dick see technology as a threat to the existing definition of humanity, or does he welcome the possibility of a new kind of humanity that is augmented by and interacts with technology?
In addition, Phil Resch—who Rick ultimately decides is a human—is devoid of empathy and seems to have an innate disposition towards killing. Yet, he keeps a pet squirrel that he is extremely fond of.
“I own an animal; not a false one but the real thing. A squirrel. I love the squirrel, Deckard; every goddamn morning I feed it and change its papers—you know, clean up its cage—and then in the evening when I get off work I let it loose in my apt and it runs all over the place. It has a wheel in its cage; ever seen a squirrel running inside a wheel? It runs and runs, the wheel spins, but the squirrel stays in the same spot. Buffy seems to like it, though” (128)
He counts as a human in the novel, because he has empathy towards animals; how do we then reconcile his total lack of remorse regarding killing? Even Rick himself seems curiously devoid of remorse when “retiring” the androids,
“The beam missed its mark but, as Resch lowered it, burrowed a narrow hole, silently, into her stomach. She began to scream; she lay crouched against the wall of the elevator, screaming. Like the picture, Rick though to himself, and, with his own laser tube, killed her” (134)
even though he finds himself sexually attracted to several, and actually has sex with one (just as Resch did, and encouraged Rick to do). Does the fact that Rick has sex with Rachael mean that he sees her as a human, or does he just have a fetish? And if sex with an android implies the humanity of that android, what does it mean for Rick that he has very little remorse about killing said androids?
“An android can’t be appealed to; there’s nothing in there to reach” (182)
“An android…doesn’t care what happens to another android. That’s one of the indications we look for” (101)
“Some female androids seemed to him pretty; he had found himself physically attracted by several, and it was an odd sensation, knowing intellectually that they were machines, but emotionally reacting anyhow” (95)
“We androids can’t control our physical, sensual passions. You probably knew that; in my opinion you took advantage of me” (196)
In addition, he definition of empathy relies upon the concept of a “group instinct” (as does Mercerism); yet Rick is a “solitary predator,” just like the androids he is hunting.
“He had wondered, as had most people at one time or another, precisely why an android bounced helplessly about when confronted by an empathy-measuring test. Empathy, evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnida. For one thing, the empathic faculty probably required an unimpaired group instinct; a solitary organism, such as a spider, would have no use for it; in fact it would tend to abort a spider’s ability to survive. It would make him conscious of the desire to live on the part of his prey. Hence all predators, even highly developed mammals such as cats, would starve” (31)
“Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated. As in the fusion with Mercer, everyone ascended together or, when the cycle had come to an end, fell together into the trough of the tomb world. Oddly, it resembled a sort of biological insurance, but double-edged. As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off. A herd animal such as man would acquire a higher survival factor through this; an owl or a cobra would be destroyed. Evidently the humanoid robot constituted a solitary predator” (31)
“He had an indistinct, glimpsed darkly impression: of something merciless that carried a printed list and a gun, that moved machine-like through the flat, bureaucratic job of killing. A thing without emotions, or even a face; a thing that if killed got replaced immediately by another resembling it. And so on, until everyone real and alive had been shot” (158)