Monday, August 6, 2012

Defining Robinson’s ‘2312,’ Part 1

I’ll be defining some terms that Kim Stanley Robinson uses in his new novel, 2312. This is not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive treatment. I’ve selected only the terms that interested me.

inuksuit, p.2: a stone landmark or cairn, used by the Inuit and other peoples of the Arctic regions of North America. (Google images link.)

goldsworthies, p. 2: art in the tradition of Andy Goldsworthy (born 1956), an environmental artist or site-specific sculptor, whose outdoor art often involves stone walls, wood, or leaves, often fashioned into arches, cones, sinuous curves, or crystalline shapes. (Wikipedia link and Google images link.)

abramovics, p. 4: art in the tradition of Marina Abramović, Serbian-born (1946) performance artist, who styles herself as the “grandmother of performance art.” In 2010 the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a retrospective show of her work and hosted her performance piece “The Artist is Present.” HBO Documentary Films produced the film “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” which originally aired July 3, 2012, a remarkable documentary. (Wikipedia link.)

Terminator, p. 4: the moving line on a rotating planet’s surface that separates day from night. Here, the capital city of Mercury, moving at a constant speed, staying just ahead of the dawn. The city moves across tracks which expand as they reach daylight, driving the city forward. Robinson is borrowing from his own early novel, The Memory of Whiteness (1985), which describes the city of Terminator on Mercury, constantly moving on rolling cylinders ahead of the dawn.

smalls, p. 12: genetically altered humans, waist high to average humans.

exergasia, p. 21: rhetorical restatement, a form of parallelism where an idea is repeated and the only change is in the way it is stated.

Mondragon Accord, p. 26: “one of the most influential forms of economic change had ancient origins in Mondragon, Euskadi, a small Basque town that ran an economic system of nested co-ops organized for mutual support. A growing network of space settlements used Mondragon as a model for adapting beyond their scientific station origins to a larger economic system. Cooperating as if in a diffuse Mondragon, the individual space settlements, widely scattered, associated for mutual support” (p. 125)

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting and useful project! I love KSR, and part of the fun is the richness of his references.