Worming-worlding: reading as fabulatory infection in China Miéville’s Weird

Coley, Rob and Lockwood, Dean (2012) Worming-worlding: reading as fabulatory infection in China Miéville’s Weird. In: Weird Council: An International Conference on the Writing of China Miéville, 14-15 September 2012, Institute of English Studies, University of London.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The paper develops the idea of a fabulatory politics as intimated in several essays in which Miéville has reflected on the weird and as sketched out in our article, ‘The Radical Fantastic’, for the journal C21 Literature (Vol.1, No.1, 2012). Our focus here is on readers as producers, or transmitters, of the weird. Particular attention is paid to Miéville’s ‘Afterweird’ for a recent anthology in which he paints the weird, against its etymology (Wyrd), as anti-fate: ‘The fact of the weird is the fact that the worldweave is ripped and unfinished’. Burrowing beneath and through the world, the weird constitutes an affective contagion that infects – through adjacent readings - established, ‘healthy’ fictions with ‘an infestation of burrowingness itself’. That is, a certain kind of fiction triggers a certain kind of reception which, against the ‘truth’ of the given, epidemiologically abets the world in its continuous morphic variation; ungrounded, excessive and teeming. Here, we argue, is a new twist on fabulation – reading as worming-worlding. We conclude our paper with a meditation on the reception of the weird in the context of contemporary societies of control.

Additional Information:The paper develops the idea of a fabulatory politics as intimated in several essays in which Miéville has reflected on the weird and as sketched out in our article, ‘The Radical Fantastic’, for the journal C21 Literature (Vol.1, No.1, 2012). Our focus here is on readers as producers, or transmitters, of the weird. Particular attention is paid to Miéville’s ‘Afterweird’ for a recent anthology in which he paints the weird, against its etymology (Wyrd), as anti-fate: ‘The fact of the weird is the fact that the worldweave is ripped and unfinished’. Burrowing beneath and through the world, the weird constitutes an affective contagion that infects – through adjacent readings - established, ‘healthy’ fictions with ‘an infestation of burrowingness itself’. That is, a certain kind of fiction triggers a certain kind of reception which, against the ‘truth’ of the given, epidemiologically abets the world in its continuous morphic variation; ungrounded, excessive and teeming. Here, we argue, is a new twist on fabulation – reading as worming-worlding. We conclude our paper with a meditation on the reception of the weird in the context of contemporary societies of control.
Keywords:weird, fabulation, Miéville, reading, affect, contagion
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q300 English studies
L Social studies > L200 Politics
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P304 Electronic Media studies
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:7828
Deposited On:06 Mar 2013 12:01

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