Seeberg/Cyborg: Svenskt 60-tal och den mediapregnerade prosan

Jonas Ingvarsson


The point of departure for this essay is the assertion that the media saturation of the everyday reality makes mass media a new environment. Locating the investigation in Sweden, and to the end of the 1960’s and the beginning of the 70’s, we could establish a cultural code named ADB/ESP [ADP/ESP], representing the strange but actual coincidence of mass medialization of the commonplace (for example ADP – Automatic Data Processing), and the rise of the interest in paranormal activities ("extra-sensory perceptions"), especially linked together in a phenomenon like Uri Geller. The space programs, enhanced by and dependent upon media, and the establishement of cybernetics in the cultural discourse, is also part of this ADB/ESP-environment. By locating literature as a probe in these environments, literature itself can be studied as a representation of the linguistic experience of other media.

Staffan Seebergs novels Vägen genom Vasaparken [The Way through Vasa Park] (1970) and Lungfisken [The Lungfish] (1971) deals with information saturation, describing characters trying to establish themselves without being drowned by information, providing sexuality as one main source of freedom. The analysis moves through different aspects of the media saturation in Seebergs novels, and ends up with a discussion of the "Seeberg/Cyborg". The conclusion is that the cyborg prose of Seeberg not explicitly deals with media and information technologies; instead the novels consist of languages indirectly saturated by these technologies. By describing these linguistic and psychological mechanisms, Seeberg reflects an awareness of the language under electronic conditions.

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