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  1. cloudytype says:

    Have you read Atwood’s Maddam trilogy? Her vision is deft, frightening and uplifting, and I think the way she propels a dystopian vision into and beyond the 21st C goes way beyond the trio you cite here. Not to diss their canon, but I think those particular writers are slipping into a quasi-historical dystopian genre, despite the flashes of acuity re. surveillance and mind control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I am ashamed to say that my readings of Atwood are pretty paltry. I’ll add those to my reading list. Next spring I’m covering The Handmaid’s Tale. It seemed ridiculous to me that I was excluding her writing from American Lit simply because she is not American. These nationalist categories can be so restrictive.

      I think I know what you mean about Bradbury, et al. The upside is that they take their experiments to the extreme, but that’s the downside, too. It is hard to imagine how their worlds would grow out of ours. Then again, that lack of realism allows me to cultivate critical reading from students who have different political perspectives. They end up questioning their own politics without taking it personally.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cloudytype says:

        I’ll look forward to hearing what you make of the trilogy, and in the meantime I’ll read it again as it’s never been more topical than now 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  2. John Cooper says:

    Of course all speculative fiction, including dystopian fiction, is before anything else a commentary on its own times. As many have said, the future isn’t what it used to be. So it’s natural that Atwood’s dystopia should speak to us more powerfully than the dystopias of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. To some extent, we’ve gone past the horrors that were pressing on the minds of Huxley, Orwell, and Bradbury. Their worlds grow not out of ours, but of theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Absolutely, but some of their speculations turned out to be pretty prescient. They could see where the entertainment industry was headed. Maybe that wasn’t hard. All those snobs were whining about comic books, film. and jazz.

      Like

  3. John Cooper says:

    I don’t see these authors’ implicit alternatives to their dystopias as utopian, only as paths to a non-dystopian future. We don’t need a perfect natural state in order to resist the forces of despair. Most of us merely need to step outside into the remnants of nature that remain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Cooper says:

    Let me test my typewriter-recognition skills. Did you type this entry on an Olympia SM series?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Almost. It is the Big Papi: SG1.

      Liked by 1 person

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