A collection of essays exploring imaginative responses to science and technology.
Why do people choose to play with ideas considered antiquated? Why do they elect to act in non-productive ways? Perhaps the question can be asked in reverse: What comes to mind when we think of technology? That which is practical, efficient, invisible, fast, optimistic, constantly updated. So how can one explain the search for the opposite, that which is useless, inefficient, physically present, slow, dystopian, obsolete and governed by chance? The matter of what motivates the search for ‘antiquated’ forms strikes deep into the heart of value. Are people simply following trends? Are they idiots? Are they sentimental? Are they artists? Are they interested in kitsch? Are they uninformed? Are they poets?
Other Paradises is a collection of essays exploring imaginative responses to science and technology, and is about people who choose to build ‘other paradises’, fully conscious of the alternative they offer to the dominant paradigm of technological progress.
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In Other Paradises, Jessica Sequeira reads generously, cleverly, with clarity and elan. She is spot on about how technology is recreating literature IRL, but even better, Sequeira’s essays recreate criticism, imaginative response by imaginative response. Reading this book one imagines yet another paradise, one where we don’t read any critic who can’t match Sequeira for energy and acuity. ~ Daniel Bosch, poet and translator, lecturer in English literature at Emory University, senior editor of Berfrois
A rich, testing and pleasing book... I'm still thinking about its discussion of our relationship with technology: its endless variety, the surprise of how playful it can be, and the joyous inventiveness of the human mind capable of writing like this. ~ Jon Lindsay Miles, translator of Haroldo Conti's Southeaster, publisher at Immigrant Press
In Other Paradises, Jessica Sequeira brings fresh insights to our new machine age and those that have led us here. Technology is at the center of her inquiry, but to call it simply a book about technology would do a disservice to its variety, joy and playfulness. I finished it with the best sort of feeling: the desire to read more. Madeleine Schwartz, reporter and former editor at the New York Review of Books, Robert Bosch Stiftung fellow. ~ Madeleine Schwartz