Janus’s Celluloid and Digital Faces: The Existential Cyborg—Autopoiēsis in Christopher Nolan’s Memento

  • Daniel White


This chapter argues that Leonard Shelby, protagonist of Memento, is a model of selfhood in the Anthropocene. His subjectivity is self-reflexive as he, despite impaired memory, shapes his identity and course of action in a recurring cycle of signs. Recording clues by Polaroid camera and tattoos, he becomes a human artifact, a cyborg or “spiritual automaton … reflected in its own content,” as Deleuze writes, displaying externalized memories like hieroglyphics, positioning himself existentially in an encircling mental ecology where he finds himself cast away: humanity “thrown” on the shore of a new era.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel White
    • 1
  1. 1.Honors CollegeFlorida Atlantic UniversityJupiterUSA

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