By Ulrike Küchler, Silja Maehl, Graeme A. Stout
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Somehow, it speaks to an extimate need to expel by overcoming, a recursive ensnarement with the other. To frame the matter in terms of a once resonant political slogan: they are here, because we went there. We was there. ” Here then we have the telling parallel: immigrants like extraterrestrials are exterminators. What is more, immigrants are here, everywhere, always already ending someone’s way of life, and inevitably because we ourselves are immigrants in this precise sense. We “war” and are indebted to the “war” that always was.
Whereas the narrator and the wife are able to ﬁnish their civilized meal, the scene of writing is a scene interrupted. But what does this have to do with copulation control? If coitus interruptus is, among other things, a form (however unreliable) of birth control, then the interrupted relation between the two texts as rendered in the organization of the plot/story relation—especially as this is reiterated through the device of the epilogue where the strangest of all apparitions, the phantasmatic handholding with the wife-wished-dead, is staged—this relation is presented as broken oﬀ by the appearance of the Martian who, like the Jew, the Tasmanian, the immigrant, happens right where it is most expected, literally at the site of reproduction.
I will confess that this last strikes me as a bit odd, because this scene is painstakingly re-created (if updated and relocated) in the 1953 ﬁlm by Byron Haskin and George Pal. Clearly somebody recognized the scene for what it was, indeed it stands out even more starkly in a plot that zooms in on Cold War Christianity for the ﬁnale. Of course, one might argue that this particular plot twist is present in the original (God in “his” wisdom did, after all, place bacteria on the Earth), but in the end too much emphasis on this dimension of the text’s anti-Semitism misses something more fundamental.
Alien Imaginations: Science Fiction and Tales of Transnationalism by Ulrike Küchler, Silja Maehl, Graeme A. Stout