Espiritismo Digital in Cyberfiction from Brazil

  • Edward King


A particularly striking dimension of the novels referred to by de Sousa Causo and Ginway as Tupinipunk, is their blend of neoliberal fantasies of disembodiment with concepts of immaterial, spiritual bodies proposed by the espiritista sciences during the late nineteenth century in Brazil. The description of the cyborg bodies in the novels and short stories evokes the imagery of the electromagnetic body, the body understood in terms of electromagnetic flows. In one respect, this is a return to a tradition within science fiction (or, the fictional writing that critics such as de Sousa Causo and Haywood Ferreira have “retro-labeled” science fiction) that is as old as the history and prehistory of the genre in Brazil. Some of the first novels that can be usefully viewed in terms of early science fiction, including Brazil 2000 (1869) by Joaquim Felício dos Santos and O doutor Benignus (1875) by Augusto Emílio Zaluar, discuss ideas from magnetism and spiritism. De Sousa Causo, borrowing Roberto Schwarz’s formulation, argues that the strong presence of espiritismo in these texts, although heavily influenced by the writings of the French spiritist and science fiction author Camille Flammarion, points to the fact that the scientific ideas that drive the genre were “out of place” in Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century and that science and technology had little relevance for authors such as Zaluar.1


Short Story Science Fiction Social Body Spirit Science Popular Religion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Edward King 2013

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  • Edward King

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