Canopus Series Analysis

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Doris Lessing is a British author and a Nobel Laureate, who has attempted every genre through her writings, most critically debated being her science fiction series Canopus in Argos: Archives. The first novel of the Canopus Series, Shikasta (1979) had put her in trouble, when from a “realist” she turned into a “Visionary” and a science fiction writer. She although not much affected by the criticism continued to write in this genre, and extrapolated the first novel to the full five-novel Canopus in Argos Series. She is a self proclaimed “space” science fiction author, and thus “space” is dealt as metaphor for ‘outer’ and ‘inner,’ spaces, the latter term fathoming the metaphor of ‘psychological’ space too. This paper also attempts at foregrounding…show more content…
At heart, Shikasta delineates how a God-like, “benevolent” galactic empire Canopus oversees the fate of Shikasta. The virtually immortal Canopeans supervise and record the history of Shikasta from its Golden Age (Shikasta’s prehistory), through its fall in the “Century of Destruction” (Earth's 20th century, when World War III breaks out), and on to its visionary, post-catastrophic future. It is the story of a paradise lost and, not regained per se, but organically reconceived and reconstructed, not rationally, but intuitively, in the complex flow of cosmic symbiosis, imperceptibility, and…show more content…
Johor’s material embodiment as a Shikastan, George Sherban, and his immaterial, androgynous identity as a galactic messenger comprise a complex, controversial relationship. What enables Johor to shuttle among five identities is a question that could be answered by the examination of it in light of Deluze’s theory of individuation. In Germinal Life: The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze, Keith Ansell Pearson argues that the species “is a transcendental illusion in relation to the virtual-actual movement of life, which is always evolving in the direction of the production of individuation” (62). Deleuze’s theory of individuation sheds new light on Lessing’s portrayal of the paradoxical relationship between the individual and the species. For Deleuze, individuation is the double movement of differentiation/differenciation: differentiation refers to the process of becoming virtual while differenciation that of becoming actual. The movement allows the individual to break from the control of the species under certain conditions since the individual signifies two entities at the same time: the virtual individual and the actual individual. Thus, for Deleuze, the individual not only

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