Dystopia & Utopia
Is it time for dystopian novelists to end the reign of the free-market idealists?
About halfway through the Putin presidency, a funny thing started happening to Russian novelists: They all started writing dystopias. In 2006, Vladimir Sorokin, the legendary deconstructionist novelist, published a traditional dystopian satire about the secret services, A Day in the Life of an Oprichnik; that same year, the literary novelist Olga Slavnikova won the Russian Booker with 2017, and the prodigiously prolific and overweight man of letters Dmitry Bykov published ZhD, set in a future where Russia is at war with a Western force called the ZhDs, who are winning because of their discovery of "phlogiston," a remarkable substance that has replaced oil as the West's fuel of choice and rendered Russia nearly obsolete.
This strange literary outburst was related, I think, to the political stagnation of the Putin
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