Preparing for Dystopia
Ben Kunkel has a great article in Dissent about recent dystopian and apocalyptic literature and film.
Now we are forced to admit that our own children's capacity to love and flourish may be undermined by the multiplication of new threats. Through the forty long years of the cold war it seemed that civilization might not be long for this world. Now it can seem to us again that we and the people we love (or would wish to love) will have to live with an anxiety every bit as pervasive as the old fear, though perhaps less acute. With luck some novelists will be able to reveal—and not only by accident—what this atmosphere of dread is doing to us.In an age when no policy maker can claim to predict the result of changes in our weather system and few economists can claim to understand what is needed to calm a turbulent economy, fiction seems uniquely useful for imagining what might be to come. Some of the novels mentioned in the article include The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houllebecq, Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
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