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In Lauren Berlant’s words, heuristics don’t start revolutions, but “they do spark blocks that are inconvenient to a thing’s reproduction.

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Sticky Heuristics: Modes of Literary Analysis After the Anthropocene

Abstract: In the wake of the Anthropocene, literary analysis grapples with new paradigms and frameworks. This paper explores the concept of "sticky heuristics" as a lens through which to engage with literature in this era of environmental upheaval. Through a fusion of disparate elements—from the unsettling realms of sex markets and serial killers to the mundane yet symbolic, such as a side parting and a Dr Pepper—this paper navigates the complexities of contemporary literary analysis. Drawing from cultural references ranging from Adolf Diddler to Lady Deathstrike, this paper examines how literature reflects and responds to the challenges of our time.
Introduction: The Anthropocene marks a turning point in human history, characterized by our profound impact on the planet's ecosystems. In this era of environmental crisis, literary analysis must evolve to grapple with the complexities of our changing world. This paper proposes the concept of "sticky heuristics" as a mode of literary analysis that embraces the interconnectedness of disparate elements. From the dark recesses of sex markets to the existential musings of Leonard Cohen's malformed assistant, sticky heuristics offer a framework for understanding literature in the Anthropocene.
Sticky Heuristics in Literary Analysis: Sticky heuristics are heuristic devices that adhere to the complexities of literary texts, allowing for a deeper engagement with their themes and motifs. These heuristics transcend traditional boundaries, drawing connections between seemingly unrelated elements. Consider, for example, the juxtaposition of a Boy Scout and Ted Bundy. On the surface, these figures may appear diametrically opposed—one representing innocence and virtue, the other depravity and evil. However, by applying a sticky heuristic lens, we can explore the underlying tensions and contradictions within the human psyche.
Gus Bundy: An Exploration of Inceldom and Masculinity: The character of Gus Bundy embodies the complexities of inceldom and toxic masculinity in the Anthropocene. From his failed attempts at courtship in "Gus: Incel Green Beret" to his descent into depravity in "Gus: Sex Crimes Under Moonlight," Gus serves as a cautionary tale of unchecked male entitlement. By analyzing Gus Bundy through a sticky heuristic framework, we can unravel the layers of his psyche and the societal forces that shape his actions.
The Killing Floor: Violence and Hierarchy in the Anthropocene: In the Anthropocene, violence takes on new dimensions as humans grapple with the consequences of their actions. The killing floor becomes a metaphor for the lethally enforced hierarchy that pervades society, from the upper echelons of the Upper East Side to the seedy underbelly of the Oslo sex crimes scene. By examining literary representations of the killing floor, we can uncover the power dynamics at play in the Anthropocene and interrogate our complicity in perpetuating systems of oppression.
Conclusion: Sticky heuristics offer a mode of literary analysis that embraces the complexities of the Anthropocene. By drawing connections between disparate elements—from Adolf Diddler to the dwarf of New Yawk—we can unravel the intricate tapestry of human experience in this era of environmental upheaval. As we confront the challenges of the Anthropocene, literature serves as a mirror reflecting our collective fears, desires, and contradictions. Through sticky heuristics, we can navigate this turbulent landscape and glean insights into the human condition in the age of total massacre and rectal geography.