1. Two Examples from the Text:
a. Body as a material for art/world building
- “Took out a mosaic of the first photos of Mercury, recently received, and it used it as a dartboard, calling out to each other the names of the famous painters, sculptors, composers, writers…” (18-19).
- The subjects of the portraits, on the other hand, looked at her with expressions she recognized immediately.“ I am always me, I am always new,I am always me” (22).
b. Landscape as a material for art/world building
- “As it cleared the horizon, the city looked like a snow globe, or a ship in a bottle—an ocean liner on a black sea, caught in a bubble of green light” (24).
- “Always the entire landscape will be curving up around you, rising on both sides and meeting overhead, so that the look of the land will envelop you like a work of art—a goldsworthy inscribed on the inside of a rock, like a geode or a Fabergé egg” (36).
c. Life as a project as a material for world building
- “The sight of blood was its usual red shock. The cubs arrived late, and Wahram wondered if their lesson had taught the many thing but the need to grow up, the need to run fast” (41).
- “Homo sapiensevolvedinTerrangravityanditisstillanopenquestionwhateffects time spent in less than one g will have on the individual” (76).
d. Community or collective as a material for world building
- “Wang will explain more to you, as will Wahram from Titan. Goodbye, my Swan. I love you” (30).
- “[Alex] was the hub of our little wheel, and now we spin off like broken spokes” (59).
2. I will not front that I completely understand this novel. I frequently find myself getting lost and confused in Robinson’s details. I guess I didn’t find myself connecting to the story, however, the interpretation in Professor Melo’s lecture, specifically the references to late-stage capitalism, has provided an interesting perspective that I had not considered. This model of money as a not only a means of power, but a means of control can absolutely be found in our modern society. And this made me think further about the objective material the author brings into this novel. 2312 was published in 2012, which would most likely put Robinson’s writing period on the heels of the 2007-2009 housing market crash and recession. This crisis and the devastation following it illuminated the issues with the system and disillusioned many people to the actual benefits of capitalism. I think I will have to take this interpretation into mind throughout the rest of the book.