Brazilian Science Fiction: Cultural Myths and Nationhood in the Land of the Future

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Bucknell University Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
"Science fiction, because of its links to science and technology, is the consummate literary vehicle for examining the perception and cultural impact of the modernization process in Brazil. Because of the centrality of the role played by the military dictatorship (1964-85) in imposing industrialization and economic development policies on Brazil, this book examines the genre in the periods before, during, and after the dictatorship, encompassing the years 1960-2000. The analysis shows that a reading of Brazilian science fiction based on its use of paradigms of Anglo-American science fiction and myths of Brazilian nationhood provides a unique look into Brazil's modern metamorphosis as it finds itself on the periphery of the globalized world." "The three periods studied here correspond roughly to the 1960s, the '70s, and he '80s to the present. The earliest group of authors produces mostly antitechnological, apolitical science fiction, as a way of affirming myths of Brazilian identity. Here, the deconstruction of myths of the feminine and of racial democracy provides the basis for the analysis of Brazil's notion of national identity. In the seventies, a second group of authors uses science fiction to protest the military regime, creating dystopian worlds in which the myths of Brazilian culture serve as touchstones to criticize various ills associated with urbanization, industrialization, and repression. In the analysis of these texts, the insights of ecofeminism are employed to demystify the conflation of the land with women found in the nostalgic construction of Brazilian identity characteristic of this period. The third group, emerging in the mideighties after the dictatorship, offers a more complex, postmodern view of Brazilian society, its continuing social problems, and the phenomenon of globalization. Reading these texts as allegories of modernization enriches the understanding of both the genre of science fiction and the experience of modernity itself."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Science Fiction Development and Myths of Cultural Identity
13
BRAZILIAN NATIONAL MYTHS
16
MODERNIZATION AND THE MILITARY REGIME
23
A MARGINALIZED GENRE
25
19602001
30
Science Fiction of the Sixties Cultural Myths in the Land of the Future
36
THE ICON OF THE ROBOT
42
CHANGING ROLES OF WOMEN
105
ECOLOGICAL DYSTOPIAS
121
CONCLUSION
134
The PostDictatorship Generation Renewal Postmodernity and Globalization
137
DICTATORSHIP AND THE LEGACY OF DEVELOPMENT
143
SOCIAL CRITIQUE OR NEW MYTHS OF BRAZILIAN IDENTITY
150
EXAMINING RACE CLASS AND GENDER
165
BRAZILIAN REACTIONS TO GLOBALIZATION
177

THE ICON OF THE ALIEN
52
THE ICON OF THE SPACESHIP
70
THE ICON OF THE CITY
76
THE ICON OF THE WASTELAND
82
CONCLUSION
87
Brazilian Dystopian Fiction Protesting Repression Modernization and Ecological Degradation
89
THE REGULATION OF SEXUALITY AND REPRODUCTION
94
BRAZILS COLONIAL HERITAGE
191
WOMEN IN BRAZILIAN SCIENCE FICTION
205
CONCLUSION
209
The Future of Brazilian Science Fiction
212
Notes
219
Bibliography
251
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Page 43 - Asimov's three laws of robotics which have stood the test of time, and once again back up a novelette to be remembered. The Three Laws of Robotics 1 . A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Page 243 - Science as a Vocation" in From Max Weber; Essays in Sociology, trans, and ed.
Page 224 - Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981), especially the first and second chapters.
Page 16 - Modern environments and experiences cut across all boundaries of geography and ethnicity, of class and nationality, of religion and ideology: in this sense, modernity can be said to unite all mankind. But it is a paradoxical unity, a unity of disunity: it pours us all into a maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and renewal, of struggle and contradiction, of ambiguity and anguish.
Page 42 - Let us remember that the automatic machine, whatever we think of any feelings it may have or may not have, is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor.
Page 226 - The power that lets itself be invaded by the pleasure it is pursuing. And opposite it, power asserting itself in the pleasure of showing off, scandalizing or resisting. Capture and seduction, confrontation and mutual reinforcement: parents and children, adults and adolescents, educators and students, doctors and patients, the psychiatrist with his hysteric and his perverts, all have played this game continually since the nineteenth century.
Page 226 - Capture and seduction, confrontation and mutual reinforcement: parents and children, adults and adolescents, educator and students, doctors and patients, the psychiatrist with his hysteric and his perverts, all have played this game continually since the nineteenth century. These attractions, these evasions, these circular incitements have traced around bodies and sexes, not boundaries not to be crossed, but perpetual spirals of power and pleasure.

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