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Human life as digitised data assemblage: health, wealth and biopower in Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story

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  • Funding Irish Research Council and Marie Curie Actions.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • i I discuss the convergence of neoliberal doctrines with medical technologies elsewhere.5

  • ii I also discuss these anxieties and the speculative genre with respect to Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods.8

  • iii Subsequent page references will be cited parenthetically in the text and the title will be abbreviated to SSTLS. SSTLS won the Salon Book Award (2010) and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize (2011). It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2010) and a New York Times Bestseller.

  • iv See Shteyngart's comments in the “Acknowledgements” of SSTLS, page 333.11

  • v For instance, the Quantified Self (QS) Movement, started in 2007 by WIRED magazine journalists Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, takes an active approach to self-tracking. Its members are part of online communities where they share and compare data. QS participants monitor and measure a range of health and personal analytics such as weight, energy levels, mood, time usage, sleep patterns, cognitive performance and athletic performance, among others. See reference 6.

  • vi For a full discussion of the biogerontological discourses in SSTLS and their relation to contemporary anti-aging and longevity movements see reference 32.

  • vii Raymond Malewitz's discussion of SSTLS explores at length the theme of the increasingly effaced human subject, focusing on the idea that human bodies are erased and remediated as a result of their engagement with information technologies in the story. See reference 34.

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