Memory as Spirituality in Richard Powers’ “The Echo Maker”

By Asmahan Sallah.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 24, 2016 $US5.00

If religion creates a sense of connectedness that seduces us into belief, Richard Powers’ novel, “The Echo Maker” (2006), suggests that an alternative form of connectedness can be achieved through acts of remembering. Throughout the novel, scenes of cranes, of their rituals, and of their flying paths in Nebraska interfere in the characters’ evaluation of their past, connection to others, and connection to nature, an intervention that leads to a rediscovery of memory as a site for spirituality. I argue in this essay that the act of remembering in Powers’ novel not only rearticulates the spiritual, but does so from a postmodern perspective through the potential of memory to defeat the linearity of time, to annihilate self and species borders, and to create a communal bond between humans and nature.

Keywords: Memory, Richard Powers, Spirituality, Postmodernism, Nature, Religion

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 14, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 24, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 552.935KB)).

Asmahan Sallah

Assistant Professor, Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA