Aliens: The Anthropology of Science Fiction

By George E. Slusser; Eric S. Rabkin | Go to book overview

Introduction:
The Anthropology of the Alien

George E. Slusser and Eric S. Rabkin

The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to think or act beyond mankind.

-- Alexander Pope

Our title, the "anthropology of the alien," sounds like a contradiction in terms. Anthropos is man, anthropology the study of man. The alien, however, is something else: alius, other than. But other than what? Obviously man. The alien is the creation of a need -- man's need to designate something that is genuinely outside himself, something that is truly nonman, that has no initial relation to man except for the fact that it has no relation. Why man needs the alien is the subject of these essays. For it is through learning to relate to the alien that man has learned to study himself.

According to Pope, however, man who thinks beyond mankind is foolishly proud. Indeed, many aliens, in SF at least, seem created merely to prove Pope's dictum. For they are monitory aliens, placed out there in order to draw us back to ourselves, to show us that "the proper study of Mankind is Man." But this is merely showing us a mirror. And many so-called alien contact stories are no more than that: mirrors. There are two main types of this contact story: the story in which they contact us, and the story in which we contact them. Both can be neatly reflexive. The aliens who come to us are, as a rule, unfriendly invaders. And they generally prove, despite claims to superiority, in the long run to be inferior to man. This is the War of the Worlds scenario, where the invasion and ensuing collapse of the Martians serves as a warning to man not to emphasize (in his pride) mind at the expense of body -- not to abandon a human, balanced

-vii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aliens: The Anthropology of Science Fiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 252

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.