Richard Powers, Plowing the Dark

Martin Kich (Wright State University)
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In this, his seventh novel, Powers reworks elements of his approaches in the previous two novels. In

Galatea 2.2

, he gives multiple literary turns to the Pygmalion myth and its various adaptations, focusing on an author without much of a personal life who becomes obsessed with creating a digital reader and then fostering a futile sense of self in a sensibility--a digital memory--incapable of any physical being and the physical experiences that are necessary to create actual memories. In

Plowing the Dark

, Powers presents us with two characters whose personal lives are similarly unsatisfying and who, in provocatively obverse and subversive ways, restore their senses of self through artistic creations that are divorced from the usual public exhibition and elicitation of a public response.…

3926 words

Citation: Kich, Martin. "Plowing the Dark". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2024 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

21620 Plowing the Dark 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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