Discussion so far has suggested that there are formal parallels to be drawn between our bodies and objects in the world, due either to our perception of similarities or to the fact that we externalize what is within us and augment our impact on the world by creating forms that replicate, and ‘enlarge’ our selves:

[We create] independent objects, objects which stand apart from and free of the body, objects which realize the human being’s impulse to project himself [sic] out into a space beyond the boundaries of the body in acts of making, either physical or verbal. (Scarry 1985, 38)

This chapter ranges over texts that explore industrialized reality, a mythic past, and a technologized future, as Levi weaves possible pre-and posthuman narratives about how our bodies came to be as they are, how they extend into the world, and how they might co-exist with machines in the future. I explore further the extension of the self into the shelter or the home, already analysed in previous discussions, and progress to a consideration of extensions of the human being in the form of mechanical technologies, important symbols and signifi ers of industrial civilization. Levi’s accounts of the relationship between embodied human subjects and the technologies used to enhance their capacities are rendered complex by the fact that he often portrays these technologies as apparently sentient phenomena. Machines and apparatuses may be ostensibly separate from their maker but they are undeniably haunted by traces of the embodied self, and anxieties persist about boundaries, about the interface between humans and machines, bodies and technologies, and particularly about the location of sentience. As much critical and fi ctional work on artifi cial intelligence has demonstrated, our enduring desire to create sentient technologies remains tempered by a concern over our ability to retain control over our machines.1