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July 29, 2010 Literature & Ideas

July Books

Non-fiction by Prince, graphic novel by Hill

March 23, 2009 Literature & Ideas

March Books

New translations by Bolaño and Storm

October 19, 2008 Literature & Ideas

October Books

New works by Bolaño, Lerch and Ohle

September 3, 2008 Literature & Ideas

September Books

New works by Venart and Stiles

March 21, 2008 Weblog:

Some thoughts on the utopian novel

From Kim Stanley Robinson:

Dystopian science fiction has its place, as a warning sign, saying "Don't go this way." So it can be important. But the dystopian cliche of our times is just too easy, it no longer says "Don't go this way" but rather "This is the only way no matter what you do, so don't try to fight it." That kind of dystopia is reinforcing of the status quo, it's a capitulation. I'd say most dystopias today are of the latter type: people don't really suffer (not the book's protagonist anyway, they're too "street smart"), and the reader is told that no alternative world is possible, the dystopia being the most likely of all possible worlds.

Okay, say that we're in trouble at the end of the 20th century. We are. Resources are depleted, populations are rising, we're in a race to invent a kind of living that will work before our problems overwhelm us. That being the case (and who but the rich think tank experts can deny it?), what kind of political art do we create? The utopia is the only choice. And for a novelist, the problem then becomes the utopian novel; which is a kind of bastard genre, from two very different kinds of parents, because the novel is about what IS, while the utopia is about what should be; so what then is the utopian novel? No one knows.

April 13, 2007 Ideas

Lebanon: Shadows of War

Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game renders civil war-era Beirut from the Diaspora

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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