Hi all. I just joined today, in order to comment. I have been reading here on an off for a while but never really felt the need to comment. Now I have been stuck at home for a while (ankle operation - got pins stuck in me like a regular cyborg), I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I have never really organised my thoughts about the themes and subject matters of Gibson's worlds very coherently, until now, I have just LIKED the novels. But your questions and answers have naturally made me realize that good literature is about more than just reading - it affects you deeply. The question is, why does Gibson's world affect me? I'll think more on that, but for now - about:
Originally posted by Rambaud:
Its been a while since I've read Neuro, and I wonder if the symmetry represents something else. The 'meat', and its naked rage against the machine of intellect. Two unmatched entities stuck together?
I got the understanding from your previous posts that you are wondering about the nature of Case and Molly, and their relationship. The above quote, that Case and Molly was "two unmatched entities stuck together", or, as I believe Rimbaud implied and Vesper elaborated on in April, that they were somehow opposites who came together.
I agree in part to this, but I will take this notion further.
When I read Neuromancer for the first time (and also on subsequent readings), my impression was that they were in fact one entity, that they were enjoined in a fundamental way (and not merely sexually). What the one lacked, the other fulfilled. We get a first glimpse of this in their first mission (Operation Mainline, wasn't it?) to get the Flatline. Case and Molly are united through simstim, and, although Case is very much aware of what simstim is, he nevertheless tries to control her body. (page 56, at least in my edition). It is as if he is trying to be the
mind inside this body. In a way, he provides the brain/mind in this operation, and Molly provides the body. Molly's mind in inaccessible (as he mentions here "He found himself wondering about the mind he shared these sensations with". Another time (when Riviera had smashed her lens implant) she is unconscious. Case has access to her sensory system, which is on overload and experiencing synaesthesia, but he has no access to her dreams (p 221). Her mind, what goes on there, is of no importance to either Case or the story, in fact Case gets decidedly uneasy whenever he contemplates Molly's mind, thoughts. Especially when there is suspicion that Wintermute (am I right in assuming the abbrv you use is WM?) is influencing her, building her as it did Armitage. See for instance when Case has followed Molly to the nightclub/whorehouse, and she sits in front of a monitor getting instructions from WM. Case, later in a bar, contemplates going back to her, (p 152) but "the image of her mirrored eyes fixed on the screen dissuaded him. What was Wintermute revealing there now?"
As I see it, for WM, Case and Molly are flip sides of the same coin, and as such, part of Gibson's literary agenda - that is to investigate the new view of what a human is, that computers brought on. To show that people cannot be separated into MIND and BODY. Come to think of it, even the AIs have 'bodies' - they are grounded in the cores that are physically located in Berne and Rio. In one way, Case and Molly resemble the AIs in this respect. The unity that they become shatters later on; for the humans, Molly leaves, and for the AIs, they disintegrate into 'voodoo gods' in Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. For that matter - one AI (Rei Tomei the Idoru - oh wait, she wasn't an AI, she was a constructed being? I forget) ANYWAY - she actually acquired a real human body in All Tomorrow's Parties.
I conclude from this that Gibson is trying to say something about the body NOT being merely meat, a prison of flesh. Our (human) body is necessary in order to remain human.
Oh looky. I had a lot to say, didn't I? And my plan was to be brief...