Hai Ninh Do (PhD) works at the Department of Vietnamese Contemporary Literature, Institute of Literature, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. E-mail: haininhdovvh@gmail.com


Humans, Cyborgs, Time, and Urban Life from a Posthumanist Perspective: The Case of Nhat Phi’s Novel The Hired Sleeper

Abstract: Through the analysis of Nhat Phi’s The Hired Sleeper, this paper explores the writer’s artistic fiction. The novel presents cyborg/transhuman characters who can hire someone else to sleep in their stead using a connector, which allows them to efficiently use the 24 hours of the day. From the perspective of posthumanism, the paper focuses on how the relationship between humans, cyborgs, and time is handled in this world of transhuman characters. The novel indicates that humans cannot overcome their own limits as natural beings and cannot be separated from time: sleeping time, living time, existing time. The paper also highlights the writer’s queries about modern humans in urban life and the journey to search for identity in the flow of time. The analysis will demonstrate how posthumanism is remarkably expressed in this work of contemporary Vietnamese fiction.
Keywords: cyborg, transhuman, posthumanism, urban life, Người ngủ thuê