Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2001 - Fiction - 323 pages
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In Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial Erika Gottlieb offers an original and comprehensive exploration of dystopian fiction. She discusses Western classics such as Huxley's Brave New World, Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Bradbury's Farenheit 451, Vonnegut's Player Piano, Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and Zamiatin's We, all fictions that project expanded versions of the flaws of current society onto a hypothetical monster state in the future. These fictions work as prophetic warnings against a nightmare world that could, but should not be allowed to, come about.
Gottlieb juxtaposes the Western dystopian genre with Eastern and Central European versions, introducing a selection of works from Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. She demonstrates that authors who write about and under totalitarian dictatorship find the worst of all possible worlds not in a hypothetical future but in the historical reality of the writer's present or recent past. Against such a background the writer assumes the role of witness, protesting against a nightmare world that is but should not be. She introduces the works of Victor Serge, Vassily Grossmam, Alexander Zinoviev, Tibor Dery, Arthur Koestler, Vaclav Havel, and Istvan Klima, as well as a host of others, all well-known in their own countries, presenting them within a framework established through an original and comprehensive exploration of the patterns underlying the more familiar Western works of dystopian fiction.
 

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Contents

DYSTOPIA WEST
23
What is Justice? The Answers of Utopia Tragedy and Dystopia
25
NineteenthCentury Precursors of the Dystopian Vision
43
The Dictator behind the Mask Zamiatins We Huxleys Brave New World and Orwells Nineteen Eightyfour
56
Dictatorship without a Mask Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 Vonneguts Player Piano and Atwoods The Handmaids Tale
88
DYSTOPIA EAST THE SOVIET UNION 1920s1950s
113
The Writer on Trial Socialist Realism and the Exile of Speculative Fiction
115
The Dystopia of Revolutionary Justice Serges Conquered City Zazubrins The Chip and Rodionovs Chocolate
132
DYSTOPIA EAST THE SOVIET BLAC 1950s1980s
205
Collective Paranoia The Persecutor and the Persecuted Andzrejewski Déry Fuks Hlasko Örkény Vaculik and Mrozek
207
Kafkas Ghost The Trial as Theatre Klimas The Castle Karvass The Big Wig and Havels Memorandum
221
From Terror to Entropy The Downward Spiral Konwickis A Minor Apocalypse Dérys Mr GA in X and Zinovievs The Radiant Future
233
Speculative Fiction Returns from Exile Dystopian Vision with a Sneer Voinovichs Moscow 2042 Aksyonovs The Island of Crimea Daloss 1985 and ...
249
Dystopia East and West Conclusion
267
Notes
287
Bibliography
305

The Legalization of Terror Platonovs The Foundation Pit Ribakovs The Children of the Arbat and Koestlers Darkness at Noon
152
Terror in War Terror in Peace Grossmans Life and Fate Tertz Sinyavskis The Trial Begins and Daniels This Is Moscow Speaking
182

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