Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial

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Gottlieb, Erika. Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens UP, 2001. Reviewed by Arthur O. Lewis in SFRA Review #254-55 (Sept-Dec. 2001): p. 40, upon whom we depend.

Lewis gives the coverage of this scholarly work in one succinct paragraph.

The choice of Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Player Piano, Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, and We to represent the West is unarguable. The Eastern dystopias take up more space than the Western, and rightly so because most Western readers are relatively unfamiliar with them. Although nearly two dozen works are discussed in some detail, Victor Serge’s Conquered City (1932; trans. 1978), Andrei Platonov’s The Foundation Pit (1930; trans. 1973), Abram Tertz Sinyavski’s The Trial Begins (1960; trans. 1982), Alexander Zinoviev’s The Radiant Future (1978; trans. 1980), and Vassily Aksonov’s The Island of Crimea (1981; trans. 1983), all of which have been translated into English, offer a window into the dystopian criticism of the Eastern totalitarian society.

RDE, finishing, 31Aug19