Victor Frankenstein’s creative act deliberately blurred the boundary between “person” and “product”—and so will the bioenhancement technologies of the coming century.
Michael Bess is Chancellor’s Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life in the Bioengineered Society of the Near Future, published by Beacon Press in 2015.
Posts by Michael Bess
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.