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This chapter asks why Orwell’s novel is so often referred to as a satire even though it lacks, for the most part, the humour that is commonly associated with that mode. It begins by locating Orwell in the ancient tradition of Juvenalian satire, in which moral indignation rather than amusement predominates. It then turns to the more specific tradition of utopian and dystopian satire, in which fictional words are constructed in order to offer a contrast to, or exaggeration of, the present society, with the aim of critiquing existing social and political trends. Laying out a history of dystopia, it examines key works in this tradition – from Thomas More’s Utopia and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels through more recent texts by H. G. Wells, Jack London, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley, and others – and their importance as precursors to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Finally, it examines Orwell’s own satiric technique in the novel, both his subtle methods of comic ridicule (generally directed at British apologists for Stalinism) and his more direct attacks on totalitarianism proper, which are woven into the setting and the action of the novel.
This chapter puts Nineteen Eighty-Four in conversation with a literary predecessor who energized Orwell at the very root, H. G. Wells. Considering these two figures side by side, ‘Wells, Orwell, and the Dictator’ thinks, first, about how powerfully Wells had influenced Orwell and, equally, how deeply entangled the two writers were in their consideration of issues around freedom, the state, the individual, and the future. Even if they end up on opposite sides of the spectrum – Wells, a utopian who believed that a united world could leave humanity free, peaceful, and prosperous, and Orwell, an anti-utopian who saw in the trends of the twentieth century an image of humans obliterated by the mechanisms of power – the two share a set of preoccupations about power and the future that motivated their fiction and left a mark on the imaginative life of the twentieth century.
Chapter 7 engages with Henry Neville’s fictional travel narrative The Isle of Pines (1668) as a work of exile. Like Sidney’s Court Maxims, Neville’s story of shipwreck and survival is a contemporary political commentary as well as a reflection on the nature and failings of patriarchal monarchy. It comments on the Second Anglo-Dutch War as well as the growing naval and economic power of the United Provinces versus England’s perceived decline since the time of Queen Elizabeth. In addition, it weighs up the strengths and weaknesses of patriarchal monarchy versus republican rule through an engagement with recent English history, including the Commonwealth, the rise of Cromwell and godly, republican rule and the Stuart Restoration. It is also notable for its use of Scripture, showing close familiarity with Old Testament texts while at the same time rejecting any literal interpretations of the Bible. Neville’s Isle is quite different in character from the radical Puritan writings of Ludlow and Sidney, not least on account of his chosen genre, yet, like Ludlow’s ‘Voyce’, it is also a deeply personal reflection on exile that engages with the vagaries of travel and making a home away from home, while remaining closely involved in the affairs of England.
This chapter asks where and how Rome (and, by extension, polemics self-consciously characterized as reactions against Rome) figures in efforts to determine what the living owe to the dead, and what the dead can do for the living. Latin occupies a controlling position within this inquiry; so, too, do texts that cast the world of the living as the home of the dead; so, finally, do Reformation-era debates about the soteriological stakes of praying for the dead. These topics span a period of time in which Rome is the gravitational centre of a sequence of massive upheavals in vernacular piety and attendant debates about the relationship between the living and the dead. The chapter argues that interpreting these debates as facets of the fact of Rome alerts us to the role that the human voice plays in probing the limits of mortality and the nature of the human as such.
This chapter explores the emergence of a new kind of anatomical knowledge in the early modern period, arguing that such anatomical knowledge inaugurates a new conception of the relation between the body and the state. This conception can be seen in the work of Hobbes, Descartes and Locke and is also bodied forth in the art and literature of the period. The chapter reads this emerging prosthetic imagination as it is pictured in Rembrandt’s images of anatomised bodies, and in the development of a novelistic account of interior being, as it imagined in More, Francis Bacon and Margaret Cavendish. The chapter ends with an exploration of the prosthetic imagination as it is given its fullest early modern expression in Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
This chapter, the second of two chapters on the eighteenth-century novel, focuses on the contractive urge in the novel of the period, and the attempt to picture organically whole bodies in the novel form as it develops from Fielding, Sterne and Richardson to Burney and Goethe. It suggests that this strand in the eighteenth-century novel, in opposition to the expansive drive explored in the previous chapter, is shaped by a desire for what Coleridge theorises as an organic aesthetic, but it argues too that even as the novel of the period is invested in such pictures of organic completion, it opens up forms of distance between mind and body which are the province of the prosthetic imagination.
This chapter reassesses the role of the novel in producing an economy of scale within which to picture the eighteenth-century body, under colonial conditions. It suggests that the novel of the period is driven by two imperatives, at once to produce an expanded picture of the body at a remove from itself and to produce an opposite image of a bound, organically complete body, which is proof against the alienating effects of colonial distance. The chapter then goes on to explore the first of these two drives, as it is expressed in the novel from from Aphra Behn to Daniel Defoe to Jonathan Swift and Sarah Scott.
This chapter reads the feminist fiction of the 1970s through its interrogation of the relationship between gender and the credit economy. The first section offers a theoretical account of the ways in which the languages of credit have been deeply gendered, in both the anthropological traditions of Mauss and the critical traditions of Marx. The second section explores the ways in which these gendered languages of both money and the gift were played out through liberal and conservative feminism of the 1970s, as women were being trained to understand the limits of their own place in a system of exchange. The final two sections examine how feminist fiction offered a counter-narrative. It explores both the rejection of accounting as strategy of selfhood in the consciousness-raising fiction of the 1970s and the articulation of a more radical alternative in the feminist science fiction of the decade.
This concluding chapter, which focuses on the work of Thomas Pynchon, returns us to the history of credit across the long twentieth century told in the book’s opening chapter. It argues that Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz functions as a recurring trope for the futility of the quest to discover what lies behind the money form in Pynchon’s work. The first section reads Gravity’s Rainbow and argues that it uses Dorothy from Victor Fleming’s 1939 film as a symbol of a compensatory fantasy. She embodies the false hope that one can return home, a hope that is associated in the novel with Tyrone Slothrop’s discovery that home is itself connected to the state’s violent complicity with the privatisation of money. Against the Day reprises this narrative but turns, instead, to the Dorothy of Baum’s 1900 novella as it seeks to uncover the alternative histories that Fleming’s cinematic adaptation obscures. Dorothy reappears as the daughters of the Traverse and Webb families in a complex narrative that allows Pynchon, finally, to critically explore the gendered language of both money and the gift that run throughout this work as a whole.
Chapter Two contextualises the fictional map itself by aligning early examples to the history of cartography, centred on major turning points and correspondence (or non-correspondence) between real-world developments and works of literature. It begins with medieval maps as relational networks; explores the influence of Utopia as the earliest ‘literary’ map; analyses the mapping of the New World in relation to Defoe and Swift; before considering the effects of the Ordnance Survey and maps of Empire on the mapping of fictional place and space. (84)
Chapter 6 argues that evolutionary theories of crypsis and display served as models for thinking through the positions of disempowered, marginalised groups at the turn of the century. Israel Zangwill sometimes invoked protective mimicry to decry Jewish assimilation as the degenerate defence mechanism of helpless dependents. Persecution, he complained, had driven Jews to become invisible and, thus, alienated from their own nature. Conversely, Charlotte Perkins Gilman made sense of women’s perceived weakness via the conspicuous display of sexual selection. Gilman argued that women’s eye-catching, impractical clothes reflected their feeble dependence on men. Through their rhetoric of standing out and blending in, both authors sought to recover the imagined authentic essences of their group identities, which regimes of Gentile or male surveillance had repressed. Yet they also imagined this self-realisation being asserted through visual display. The intersubjectivity of display rendered it inherently inauthentic, mediated by arbitrary symbols. This contradiction caused Zangwill’s vision of Jewish self-realisation to vacillate between essentialism and anti-essentialism, between a return to pure origins and progression toward open-ended, heterogeneous identity. Gilman’s vision similarly vacillated between the restoration of a primordial female ‘modesty’ and the progressive transcendence of visible sex distinctions.
Sixteenth-century jurist, Thomas More, developed the distinction between a Christian utopia and the political autonomy of the state. Chapter 4 recognises religion’s role in contributing to cosmopolitan ethical principles to guide political power, without becoming a justification for a political theology of the state. Section 4.1 proceeds with More’s emphasis of a common humanism that brought accommodation between temporal and spiritual sovereignty. Section 4.2 ascertains in what manner the Second Vatican Council recognised that not alone freedom but the search for the truth is central to political democracy and an open public sphere. Catholic theorists recognise a prisca theologia or a semblance of the natural law, and thereby advance in what way the expression of the political form the state takes as a basis for a common cosmopolitan humanism. Section 4.3 details Maritain’s proposed model of Church and state, and delineates Maritain’s theory of secular democratic faith, as a bridging of Catholicism with liberal democracy and human rights. This chapter concludes by enquiring if a secular democratic faith in democracy and human rights is possible today.
It was consistent with both humanism and the growth of political bureaucracy that humanisticallyeducated ‘new men’ took roles as counsellors in the courts of both early Tudor kings. This chapter explores the role of the counsellor in the work of three leading Renaissance humanists: Erasmus, More and Castiglione. Each accepted that good counsel should, to varying degrees, rule the prince. At the heart of their writings remains, however, a question about the efficacy of counsel in a hereditary monarchy. Often overlooked in this debate is importance of Seneca, who provides the basis for the discussion of the effectiveness of counsel in all three writers’ works, contrasting principles learned through instruction from precepts gathered through counsel.
This chapter argues that a formal logic of “speculative utopianism” emerged in New Zealand by the 1870s, linking the idea of the settler colony as the future of British identity with the promise that it would reward metropolitan financial investment. The emergence of this logic can be seen in Samuel Butler’s First Year in Canterbury Settlement (1863) and Erewhon (1872), which formalize the association between culture, investment, and settler futurity. The stakes of speculative utopianism were intensified as the colony acquired unprecedented levels of debt, the outcome of a policy to spur development that colonial premier Julius Vogel grounded in claims about the colony’s future potential as an ideal British society. The collapse of New Zealand’s credit led metropolitan writers to attack the assumptions of speculative utopianism, most notably in Trollope’s dystopian The Fixed Period (1882). Two fin de siècle works of speculative utopianism—Vogel’s Anno Domini 2000 (1889) and H. C. Marriott Watson’s Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1890)—reveal a further shift in the status of the settler empire, as the future value of the settler population is now cast in geopolitical terms.
Focusing on H. G. Wells’s scientific romances, “The Technology Age” argues that the volatile modernity of Wells’s fiction pivots on a failure of sympathy between the young and the old. This failure generates the deeply ambivalent conditions by which generational antagonism arises alongside modernity’s technological and social progress. Drawing on the work of Charles Booth and tracts by the Fabian society, I illustrate how socialist arguments for a universal pension depend upon youths imagining the older person they one day will become. Analyzing works such as The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, Food of the Gods, and In the Days of the Comet, this chapter highlights the multitemporality of the banal process of aging. In this regard, science fiction provides insight into the reality of aging in a way that conventional literary realism cannot.
When Franz Lehár’s Viennese operetta The Merry Widow arrived London in 1907, it was not only one of the most remarkable West End hits but also the beginning of a new age of global entertainment. The reception took place worldwide and overcame national traditions to establish a new international show business in the early twentieth century. In consequence a cross-cultural exchange emerged confirming the ‘birth of the modern world’ at that time. Along with Lehár, a new generation of composers propagated the new style on the Continent, for example, Oscar Straus, Leo Fall and Emmerich Kálmán. In the decade before World War I, Viennese operettas dominated the repertory of the Western world. Balancing the ‘local’ and ‘global’ was an important aspect of their achievement, so it was no coincidence that all those composers originated from the Habsburg Empire. Thus, Lehár grew up as a son of a Czech-born, German-speaking military bandmaster and of a Hungarian mother, spending his childhood in seven different cities of Austria-Hungary. Life was similar for Leo Fall, who furthermore was Jewish like Oscar Straus, and Emmerich Kálmán. But they all worked in Vienna, the experimental laboratory for the arts generally and popular music especially.
Chapter 1 considers the accounts of law offered by early Zionist utopian works and clarifies the distinction between the cultural and the meta-cultural debate in Zionism; that is, between the disputes over culture and identity, and the debate whether a cultural dispute over modern Jewish identity would be worthwhile and wise. In light of the emotional Jewish and Zionist cultural debates, the question inevitably arose as to whether such culture wars were advantageous or detrimental to the realization of Zionism’s goal, the establishment of a Jewish national home. To avoid a Kulturkampf, Zionist leaders decided to stress the common and consensual elements of national culture, while stifling the religious, cultural and identity differences over the definition of Judaism, Jewish state and Jewish law, and block their entry into the Zionist movement’s official documents and projects.
Global constitutionalism offers a utopian picture of the future of international law. Its advocates suggest a governance system is emergent that will fill the gaps in legitimacy, democracy and the rule of law present in international law. Speculation about the future of international law is shaped, partly at least, by global constitutionalism aspiring to create a better global legal order, by filling these legitimacy gaps with both normative and procedural constitutionalism. But this raises the question ‘better for whom’? Feminist theory has challenged the foundations of both international law and constitutionalism; demonstrating that the design of normative structures accommodates and sustains prevailing patriarchal forms that leave little room for alternative accounts or voices. Both international and constitutional law’s structures support the status quo and are resistant to critical and feminist voices. The question is whether it is possible for constitutionalism to change international law in ways that will open it up to alternate possibilities. Building on a seven-point manifesto of feminist constitutionalism, previously proffered by the authors, which inculcated feminist concerns into global constitutionalism, this article offers an alternative starting point: feminist science fiction. Feminist utopian tracts such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland and Ursula K Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness offer valuable lessons for global constitutionalist discourses. The article uses feminist utopias in science fiction to better understand how to dismantle hierarchical structures, how to build feminist societies, and how to find approaches to governance not predicated on patriarchy. It does so by focusing on feminist alternatives for constructing communities, for understanding constituent power and constituent moments, and dismantling manifestations of the public/private divide. This article demonstrates that reading feminist utopian science fiction facilitates the reimagining of global constitutionalism.
The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze has become popular in recent moves to embed approaches such as the new materialist and the posthuman in environmental education. Certainly, a newfound respect for the material universe, including the comprehension of the human place in it, and the tendency to a posthuman theoretical position, are both important given the contemporary environmental crisis, named as the Anthropocene. However, this article will argue that both these philosophies do not go far enough. This is because they must retain a political, social and critical edge if they are to be effective, and this edge can be too easily disregarded in the pursuit of increased engagement with the material and everything not human. In contrast, this article will put forward a Deleuzian approach to environmental education, based on the intellectual quadrant of Spinoza-Marx-Nietzsche-Bergson (Figure 1). It will be argued that only by fully connecting these often conflicting and disparate philosophies that a workable new synthesis for environmental education and a cartography for learning can be achieved. The Deleuzian approach to environmental education will be exemplified through an analysis of current environmental practises in schools as assemblage.