James Gleick (author of, among other things, the excellent book The Information) published his thoughts on Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux ( The NewYorkReview of Books), and it made me very curious about Theroux's novel. The idea that a mind can be created (or continued after the body) due to the literature it produces are both very much in the spirit of the times - start-ups like eterni.me are popping up (even though they don't go as far as claim it is a mind; good article on them in The New Yorker ) - and at the same time a literary theme as Gleick points out. What I gather from Gleicks's post Theroux novel handles the theme of consciousness and AI in the classic context of literature (I will know more when I have read the book), which is a theme (one reason Gleick is citing Borges). However, what interests me is the fact that Theroux wrote the book, and that Gleick is discussing the connection to science fiction (and other genre fiction, though the distinction annoys me as I think it annoys Gleick; this is after all a common theme in SF, to deny that legacy is to be ignorant of over a hundred years of literature ), as well as to neuroscience and understanding of the mind. Gleicks post is well worth reading (and I'll return about the novel) because this question of disembodiment of consciousness, is in the air.
In my opinion: The questions from almost every human line of thought, ancient ones as philosophy or the arts, and modern ones as AI, converges, senses that something is within grasp. Weather that is the case or not, I really don't know. But for now we get companies, literature, and science from that spirit. On top of that, well written posts like Gleick's.