The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism

By M. Keith Booker | Go to book overview

to the literary evolution of the genre of dystopian fiction during the past century.


NOTES
1.
Heldreth notes that the relationship between the parks of Westworld and of its sequel Futureworld mirrors that between Disneyland and its "sequel" Disneyworld (217).
2.
Visitors to the Orlando area should not be surprised to see such hats outside the park as well, though more popular in this regard are the various T-shirts bearing pictures of Disney characters (especially Mickey Mouse) that one can find on proud display not only all over Orlando but all over America.
3.
On the contrast between this modern "realistic" utopian project and the earlier "ancient" utopian project, see Weinberger.
4.
For an extensive treatment of the complex relationship between Marxism and utopianism, see Geoghegan.
5.
Various terms have been employed to indicate the range of skeptical treatments of utopianism depicted in modern fiction and film. Designations like "dystopia," "negative utopia," "antiutopia," "heterotopia," and "cacotopia" have variously been used to describe this phenomenon, though the terms have not always been employed interchangeably. However, rather than quibble over terminology, in this study I use the term "dystopia" throughout to subsume all of the others, with the understanding that I consider "dystopia" as a general term encompassing any imaginative view of a society that is oriented toward highlighting in a critical way negative or problematic features of that society's vision of the ideal.
6.
For a useful overview of the role of applied science in a variety of utopian and dystopian visions, see Frietzsche. See also Fogg for a discussion of the role of technology in various utopian/dystopian visions.
7.
For an historical survey of utopian thought that indicates its ancient origins, see Kumar (2-32).
8.
See the chapter "The Dynamo and the Virgin" in The Education of Henry Adams.
9.
For a fuller description of this phenomenon, see Jürgen Habermas's essay "The Entwinement of Myth and Enlightenment."
10.
Indeed, Freud and Nietzsche have a great deal in common, despite their obvious differences. See Anderson.

-22-

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The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Utopia, Dystopia, and Social Critique 1
  • Notes 22
  • 1 - Zamyatin's We: Anticipating Stalin 25
  • Notes 44
  • 2 - Huxley's Brave New World: The Early Bourgeois Dystopia 47
  • Notes 66
  • 3 - Orwell's 1984: The Totalitarian Dystopia after Stalin 69
  • Notes 89
  • 4 - The Bourgeois Dystopia After World War II 91
  • Notes 112
  • 5 - Postmodernism with a Russian Accent: The Contemporary Communist Dystopia 115
  • Notes 138
  • 6 - Skepticism Squared: Western Postmodernist Dystopias 141
  • Notes 170
  • Postscript: Literature and Dystopia 173
  • Works Cited 179
  • Index 193
  • About the Author 199
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