May 31, 2010 @ 10:00:00 am
As BEA wrapped up last week, Carolyn Kellogg observed that at an Expo aglow with iPads, it was "telling that the hot trend for fall books is dystopian fiction." Why is the dystopian novel experiencing a renaissance in Western literature after its absence for the past few decades? In an essay in Bookforum's summer issue, Keith Gessen tracks dystopia from Orwell and Huxley to Tumblr and Facebook (including a saga that peaked on the web platform Plurk), writing that the Internet has "brought into being one of the fears common to most dystopian novels and developed with some detail in 1984: that everyone would know what we were thinking. Except unlike in 1984, it's been done entirely voluntarily, through blog posts, Facebook updates, and, of course, Plurks."
Screens of Glass: Whitmanesque poets, conspiracy theorists,
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