There has been a great deal of discussion about the relationship of mind and body in the Neuromancer. Certainly, much of Case's interaction with the world, both cybernetic and physical, is governed by his longing for "the matrix" and his disgust toward meat-centric experience. Of particular interest to me is how his predisposition toward the purely cerebral plays out in his interactions with the three 'bodiless minds' of the story.
mind vs. body
I'm interested in what people make of Gibson's invocation of the mythologized Fall from Eden (common to the Western monotheistic traditions) to thematize Case's feelings about his initial neurological damage--and his ontological status more generally: "For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it [the damage] was the Fall. In the bars he'd frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh. The body was meat.
Though I see that the body/mind issue has already been raised in responses, I'm really interested in how Gibson addresses this, and I think I can take a sufficiently original tack that my response will further the discussion.
Observation, I think it's rather interesting that the hotels/beds get referred to as coffins. I'm not entirely certain if this is societal, which would be interesting, given the focus on body modification, or if it's just Case, in which case that goes along with his death wish and frustrations and self-loathing of his body.
We talked a fair bit in class about the troubled mind-body relationship present in Neuromancer. Many of the characters make us question our assumptions of what it means to be alive, from the unembodied mind of Wintermute to the mindless body of Armitage, with multiple characters straddling the line between life and death at any given point. Case is the one character who we are really allowed to connect with on any psychological level (though even that hold is tenuous, given the somewhat schizophrenic style of postmodern/cyberpunk writing).
The claim has been made that Neuromancer celebrates in a way previously unattested to in the annals of SF the existence of mind without body. While I am not wholly convinced of this, I think the secondary readings that we had this week offer a window to a reading that balances on the scales of class the consideration given by the novel to the possibility of thinking without feeling.
Perhaps the most preeminent theme in William Gibson's Neuromancer is the conflict between body and mind. In the futuristic world presented, those specializing in tasks of the mind are given a special status among the rest of society. These elite are known as "cowboys," specially trained and skilled individuals who are able to comprehend and even manipulate the workings of cyberspace, essentially a more developed form of the modern internet.