Alexis Wright’s critically acclaimed third novel, The Swan Book (2013), has been analyzed profusely by scholars around the world. No matter how manifold these interpretative nets may be, they always refer to the character Oblivion Ethyl(ene), aka Oblivia. What is particularly telling in that regard is that Oblivia as the novel’s protagonist and focalizer is a speechless child. As the article shows, Wright’s so-called total novel constructs Oblivia and the virus in her brain as the novel’s narrator(s), enabling her to fill her speechless world with words and meaning. Hence, as a mute narrator, Oblivia becomes one of the most unreliable but equally one of the most honest, life-affirming storytellers in contemporary fiction. The universe of her unspoken words reveals Oblivia’s ability to communicate with the nonhuman and other-than-human, offering readers who are receptive a story about what it means to be posthuman in a world that defies posthumanism.
"Wording Mute Posthumanism in Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book,"
Antipodes: Vol. 36:
1, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol36/iss1/16