Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If I were a literature classic

I'd be a dystopia, something I apparently share in common with fellow Okie blogger Rena.

Which literature classic are you?

George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four. You are the classic warning against the threat of totalitarianism. To you, politics and philosophy are inseparable, authorities suck and the reality might not exist outside our imaginations.
Take this quiz!

Given my fascination with dystopias (including the occasional creative efforts by friends; Notably Haley's Nose: America 2009 by the late Ductape Fatwa), this is hardly a surprise. Orwell's 1984 is of course a highly recommended must-read. In fact, here's what I wrote exactly four years ago (In The Mood for Dystopia?):
I've been pretty fascinated by dystopian novels and films since my teenage years. In high school, I read the works of George Orwell (1984) and Huxley (Brave New World). As an adult, I managed to finally check out films such as Brazil and Blade Runner -- not as first run films (as the movies were originally released before I had wheels or coin), but as videos. I tend to view dystopias as a set of warnings: harbingers of what may come to pass if we are not careful. As such, creators of dystopian fictional societies take negative or fascist elements of the present-day world and take them to their logical conclusion. Orwell's classic work presents a high-tech equivalent of the totalitarian fascist states that is modeled after Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. Aldous Huxley offers a similarly bleak vision, but one in which the focus is on mindless consumerism and hedonism within a rigidly authoritarian caste system. In my more cynical moments, I've contended that the US could very easily end up combining some of the more obnoxious elements of both Orwell's and Huxley's dystopias -- a perspective that is captured very aptly by the Terry Gilliam directed film Brazil.

A useful website, is Dystopia Explored, which examines definitions of the term, dystopia, as well as various dystopian novels and films. Well-worth bookmarking.
My other dystopia posts from my old blog:


Shape of Things to Come?

Postscript to the Previous Entry

Found this image and couldn't resist:

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