"Novel Realities and Simulated Structures:
This article examines the articulations of representation and being in Richard Powers’s novel Plowing the Dark (2000) from a posthuman perspective. In its double-narrative structure, the novel introduces a dialectic relationship between Plato’s theory of the forms and Baudrillard’s notions of the simulacra as its rudiments for exploring the boundaries of reality. N. Katherine Hayles’s theory of the posthuman provides an apt mediating lens to examine the competing visions of Platonic and Baudrillardian reality as presented in the novel. Examined in this way, Plowing the Dark not only asks questions about the representation of reality but ultimately performs narratively the patterns of reflexivity and virtuality unique to the posthuman world. The article concludes by arguing that Richard Powers employs the form of the novel to manipulate the semi-stable parameters of various systems of reality while engaging with the paradigms of the posthuman to explore the relationship between the construction and mediation of the real.