ISSN (Online): 2583-0090

The Signifiers and the Signified I:- Experimenting upon the ‘human’ and/or ‘posthuman’ in Subrata Sengupta’s “কম্পি বড় ভালো মেয়ে”

Authored by
REESWAV CHATTERJEEREESWAV CHATTERJEE,State Aided College Teachers,Maheshtala College
on 01/11/2022


Abstract:- Stanley Fish in his article “Is there a text in the class?” talks about an ‘interpretive community’ within which the speaker and the listener have to exist, to make possible any meaningful conversation. In case of amorous-sexual equations between the ‘human’ and the ‘robot’, a two directional translation serves as such a shared discursive context. It’s the translation of the mechanical consciousness into human co-ordinates or vice versa that places the two in what Fish calls a ‘context or system’. In Subrata Sengupta’s short story “কম্পি বড় ভালো মেয়ে” the equation between the ‘humanly consciousness’ and the ‘mechanical consciousness’ radically alters when we finally find out that the biological human possesses the mechanical consciousness, while the biological non-human i.e the robot has a human one. The essentialism of equating biological humanness and humanly consciousness, the mandatory placement of a certain type of consciousness within a certain type of body completely falls apart. This comprises of the first layer of the translation. In the second layer, the two directional translation occurs simultaneously in the story:- the mechanical consciousness tries to be human and the human consciousness tries to be mechanical at the same time. What emerges out of these two layers is that the consciousness in the two beings is the signified, while ‘the humanly’ and ‘the mechanical’ form of it function as the signifiers. In a pretty similar way, the biological humanness and the biological non-humanness fulfil the same role of two different signifiers to the same signified--- the consciousness. Thus it makes it impossible to think of ‘the humanly’ and ‘the mechanical’ as definitive and conflictual categories. Rather they are incessantly translatable to one another precisely because they are different signifiers of the same signified i.e. the same consciousness that is shared by the human and the robot both.

Keywords : signifiers, signified, translation, shared discursive context

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