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Paraspace

The term 'paraspace' comes from Samuel R. Delany, a 'space' existing parallel to normal or ordinary space. According to Delany, the para-space is an alternate space that ‘exists parallel to the normal space of the diegesis–a rhetorically heightened “other realm”’ (Bukatman 1993: 157). Bukatman (1993: 157) says "Cyberspace is clearly a ''paraspace'.'

"Delany connects cyberpunk to the mysterious lunar artifact of Algis Budrys' Rogue Moon and early evocations of outer space, all of which use inflated rhetoric to differentiate "paraspace" from mundane dimensions" Samuel Review Essay.

Paraspace is defined by Barry Malzberg as "the condition of hyperspace [that] is itself insane" (as cited by Bukatman, 1993: 157).

Michael Fisch (2004: 371, citing Murakami, 2002: 157) comments "While the para-space is often inaugurated through cognition it is always a ‘materially manifested’ and ‘linguistically intensified’ space in which ‘conflicts that begin in ordinary space are resolved’" 

(Murakami 2002: 157).

Implications

Walter Benjamin (1936/1968) declare the end of storytelling because of its incapacity to relate traumatic experiences, such as warfare, shell shock in World War I. As work lost its spaces to practice not just storytelling, but storylistening, the skills of interpretation of experience atrophied.

Paraspace is the hyperspace gone insane (Malzberg, The worker flesh-body is displaced by the corporate ad-inventions, set on the global stage of “technoorganic reconstructions of the flesh” (Bukatman, 1993: 19).

Walter Benjamin (1936) declared that the art of storytelling is coming to an end. We can no longer tell a tale of trauma properly. We can no longer exchange our experiences of trauma of war (PTSD), economic collapse sending millions into homelessness, including veterans of the recent wars, the ubiquitousness of sweatshops, and so on. Of relevance to paraspace, the lost art of storytelling has an accumulated effect (Fisch, 2004: p. 365); it gets worth with cyber-real. /When the ‘real’ pokes through the cyberspace, it gets quickly displaced by obfuscation. Our ‘real’ in hyperspace is not closer to Lacanian Real (FIsch, p. 372).

Paraspace is invisible, yet has material consequences (Bukatman, 1992).

Benjamin, W. (1936/1968) Illuminations, New York: Harcourt Brace & World.

Bukatman, S. (1992). Amidst These Fields of Data: Allegory, Rhetoric, and the Paraspace. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 33(3), 199-219.

Bukatman, S. (1993) Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Delany, Samuel R. (1988). Some real mothers: An interview with Samuel R. Delany by Takayuki Tatsumi.” Science Fiction Eye, 1, #3: 5-11.

Fisch, M. (2004, October). In search of the real: technology, shock and language in Murakami Haruki's Sputnik Sweetheart. In Japan Forum (Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 361–383). Taylor & Francis.

Murakami, H. (2002) Sputnik Sweetheart, trans. P. Gabriel, New York: Vintage International.