Posts Tagged: Richard Powers

Galatea 2.2, Richard Powers

Galatea 2.2Richard Powers’ Galatea 2.2 is part science-fiction and part metafictional memoir. Unfortunately, in the twenty years since its publication, computer technology and neuropsychology have advanced to the point where Powers’ novel feels dated and quaint.

However, the more interesting parts of the novel are the main character’s, also named Richard Powers, memories of his failed relationship with a woman known only to the reader as C. The artificial intelligence that Powers and Dr. Lentz work to build serves as a repository for Powers’ reflections and spurs him toward further thoughts of C. We see the arc of a relationship as Powers and C meet in university. We see how writing played an important role in their relationship, with Powers creating a world specifically for C. When that world is published as a novel, what was once intimate becomes open to the masses.

The audience for Powers’ novels was always C. What does it mean when that audience then becomes everyone? In this way, something enters their relationship. It’s not another woman, but it’s something that breaks their bond.

There were times when I loved reading this novel and there were sections I struggled to get through. Ultimately, it’s a smart novel about love and memory, but it feels bogged down by its obsolete technology.

Summer Reading 2014

In no apparent order, here are some books I’m planning to read this summer. Please comment below if you have some suggestions.

The Flamethrowers
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner (read)

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball

Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler

The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (read)

Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers (read)

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

A Mercy by Toni Morrison