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In The Island of Doctor Moreau, Wells consciously takes up Frankenstein's theme of artificial intelligence although, this time, in animals. Interestingly enough, he combines the traditional utopian motifs of the island and the traveler Prendick with a romantic outsider figure Montgomery and a Gothic villain Dr. Earlier, in The Time Machine, Wells has pursued what Brian Aldiss has called "the British obsession" 16 with subterranean races, an obvious Gothic allegory of Disraeli's "two nations. This is not at all the undermining of utopia by reactionary Romanticism Nagl to the contrary ; 17 for what Wells had in mind was progressive social criticism.

As Kagarlitski notes, "Wells, with all the ardour of youth, contended that a materialistic civilization, developing within the framework of an unjust society, would lead to the destruction of mankind. What Sade had said about the Gothic romance is recalled by Kagarlitski's argument at this point: "In a period of transition — and the world was experiencing precisely such a period — a situation frequently does not lend itself to description so much as to images which do not coincide with the real, images containing in themselves something greater than reality.

However, Wells never confused shallow Victorian optimism with the truly rational spirit of the enlightenment, or the rationalized exploitation of capitalism with the dream of a reasonable world — as the antiutopians after him were in danger of doing. His criticism always remained criticism of the here-and-now and its possible prolongations; he never perversely attacked utopian hope as a scapegoat. Ironically, it was in trying to establish a rational utopianism complementary to and on the level of his earlier criticism that Wells fell back into mechanistic ideas about progress.

In his later utopias he often ignored the very contradictions he had raised in the early "scientific romances. He thus became to the following generation the personification of what he had set out to fight: naive, technocratic scientism. The antiutopians responded to this later Wells, often without being conscious of their affinity to the young iconoclast he had once been. Once again, utopian hope for a rational society had to take on an irrational form.

Since technological and social progress had been confused, since reason had seemingly become the instrument of institutionalized unreason, the antiutopians had to speak up for true reason by way of speaking up for irrational things, above all in their common metaphor of repressed or falsely liberated sexuality. In their turn, they risked being applauded by conservatives, so eager to lean on the idea of an unchangeable "human nature.

Here they meet with the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse , which is also primarily concerned with the non-economic aspects of pseudo-rational society. But the social criticism of the antiutopians had taken a dangerous turn into the purely psychological. They no longer concerned themselves with the prerequisites of social justice but with those of psychic wholeness for the individual — as though all material problems were solved already! The social model of antiutopia is a materially perfect or at least perfectly stable but inhuman State of "reason.

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For if instrumentalized reason or rationalized unreason is capable of producing a "bad" material perfection, then one's own implicit counter-utopia must logically be focused on the free and sane individual rather than on — and if necessary at the expense of — material happiness and social justice. Well-meant efforts to bring the two together e.

Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia

Since the basic assumption of the antiutopia is ideologically tainted, its further extrapolations can never be taken seriously. The seemingly relevant discussion over the contrasting models of Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four whether there can be a "totalitarianism" without terror, repression without violence, as Huxley asserts is really a sham, for Orwell insists on the inevitability of physical cruelty only because a society of the Brave New World type does not strike him as sufficiently motivated — a thought that stems again from the conviction that material happiness and "human nature" are not compatible, not from any insight into the social origins of violence.

In this way, the antiutopia can once more be read as that disinterested indictment of all industrial societies, East and West, that it was meant to be. But while Huxley's model seems more realistic than Orwell's when seen in context of Marcuse's concept of "repressive tolerance," the critical effectiveness of every antiutopia must find its limits when Marcuse's "one-dimensional world" is itself perceived as a kind of antiutopia: i. So it is to be hoped that, as Hillegas predicted, 21 the pendulum is swinging back from antiutopia the fear of "the future as nightmare" towards utopia and the active preparation of the future.

Since the flood of ever more imitative antiutopias can only serve the needs of those interested in despair and resignation, we must look to the other streams within scientific fantasy, traditional SF among them, to produce the utopian writings we so desperately need. The following essay is a revised version of chapter five from my Basel Ph. The "respectable" literary antiutopia was there considered as an example of that "scientific fantasy" of which popular SF is the most conspicuous sub-genre. I discussed there at greater length whether such writings could still be called utopian in any legitimate i.

One would only too gladly agree with Scott Sanders "Invisible Men and Women," SFS that there is an even better excuse for the lack of character in SF, namely that the "disappearance of character" is one of its themes. But for that, alas, the authors would have to be aware of their choice, and capable of doing otherwise, which does not always seem to be the case.

Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus London, , After all, Isaac Deutscher see note 2 above describes Orwell's Winston as just such a "Billy Brown"; nevertheless, the state of Winston's soul plays a much larger part than that of the utopian traveler. Raymond Ruyer, L'Utopie et les utopies Paris, There is, of course, a subtle polemical undertone to this statement. Seeber reads the antiutopia simply as satire, not as a hidden utopia; accordingly, he agrees with the conservative view of Romanticism. Fyvel, "A Writer's Life," in Howe, ed. Leslie A. All quotes from Fiedler refer to this printing of his "new, revised edition" of , which differs in some particulars from the first edition of Peter Fairclough Harmondsworth, , p.

Fiedler see note 10 , p. In this, as in other things, he follows Gershon Legman without going half as far in his criticism. Legman's vitriolic piece on Mary Shelley, H.

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Brian W. Aldiss, Billion Year Spree London, , p. An earlier example would be Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race , an important link between Gothic and antiutopia — cf. Seeber see note 8 , pp. Clareson, ed. By tracing the literary and ideological antecedents of the form--and by examining, in particular, the strong influence of European Gothic romance on the works of Zamyatin, Huxley, and Orwell--I hope to show that the antiutopia was, at least originally, a continuation of utopianism, even though its intrinsic ambiguity may have rendered it ineffective as such. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour.

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Distorting perceptions of sex and associating it with hatred diminish human relationships, and it is these relationships that make humanity what it is. Orwell shows a concern that human progress runs the risk of developing in such a political direction that society could become dehumanized. The object of political power in Oceania is to eliminate memory and self-consciousness in order to perpetuate political power, and by eliminating memory and self-consciousness one loses humanity. Party control forces repressed memories, isolation and destruction of connection; it eliminates human feeling.

Its actual appearance was frightening, and not merely the fact that he knew it to be himself. He moved closer to the glass. He is not the traditional rosy color of life, nor the wan color associated with death, but an inhuman grey. He has become misshapen and alien, just like his emotions and even appears similar to the survivors of a Nazi concentration camp. All sense of humanity, physical and emotional, has been drawn out or disfigured beyond recognition. The concerns of industrialization, the breakdown of human relations and political power are all united in that they are forms of dehumanization.

In Brave New World it is evident that savagery has been removed, but so have the imagination and creativity that make up humanity. It is this mechanical efficiency that leaves no room for the truth and beauty integral to human life. Overall these dystopias and utopias are a way of highlighting concern with their contemporary worlds by either contrast or projection of progressions that can already be seen.

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Utopia is Dystopia

Mar 10, Glenn Conley rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed. This book has many issues. It's racist. It's misogynistic. And the story is set in a world that doesn't need to be there. It's a strange dystopian world. All the nukes have gone off and fried everyone's implants, because of the EMP. There are spaceships, and colonies on other planets, and none of it needs to be there. Because this is just the story of a fucking loser. A musician named Kel, who's wasted and drunk all the time. His wife left him, and used her political connections to get him arrest This book has many issues.

His wife left him, and used her political connections to get him arrested for some terrorist bullshit. Because divorce isn't enough for this bitch. She wants to completely ruin his life. And she does a damn good job of it. Kel goes to jail, where he's given clothes that have Bible verses on 'em. Mostly the bullshit verses from Leviticus.

So of course, Kel ends up joining a cult in the prison. Because he was tired of all the ass rape in the general population. Little did he know that the leader of the cult, The Father, required an anal sacrifice as well.

BOOKS UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA - Years of Utopia - Research Guides at University of Southern California

Oh well. At least it was holy rape. After all the anal rape, war broke out, and Kel and his buddies join the Anal Nazis to kill off all the inbred scum of the earth. You know, people who aren't white. Because that's how the Anal Nazis roll. Kel and his friend finally do leave the Anal Nazis, because it was gettin' hairy, man. The killing was just too much.

But then, Kel and his crew are hunted by the Anal Nazis, because Kel's tight white ass was just too fine to let go. It becomes an all-out war of Anal Freedom, as Kel fights to survive the anal onslaught. See what I'm saying? That entire story didn't need any kind of dystopian landscape. The story didn't fit the world it was set in. It could have easily been set in today's average world.

That means there were huge useless sections of this book, going on about the dystopia that didn't need to be there. Of course, all the 'anal' didn't need to be in my review, either. But it's funny, and it made this book sound more interesting than it is. Because there's no Anal Nazis. They're just regular Nazis. It's too bad. Anal Nazis sound like much more fun.