Critical Theory and Science Fiction
Publication Year: 2013
Freedman's five readings are: Solaris: Stanislaw Lem and the Structure of Cognition; The Dispossessed: Ursula LeGuin and the Ambiguities of Utopia; The Two of Them: Joanna Russ and the Violence of Gender; Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand: Samuel Delany and the Dialectics of Difference; The Man in the High Castle: Philip K. Dick and the Construction of Realities.
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
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I have been working on this essay, in one way or another, for a long time. In-deed, in composing and revising the text I have often been struck by howmuch preparation was accomplished on occasions when I had no consciousnotion that any such project was under way. Inevitably, then, I have incurredmany debts, to institutions, and to individuals. All I can do here is discuss, very...
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Like any other writer, I am often asked about my current project. During thetime that I thought of the following essay as my current project, I sometimesresponded simply by giving the title. On other occasions, however, when a lit-tle more detail seemed to be called for, I usually employed one of two pre-pared responses. The short, playful response was to say that my thesis about...
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...1. An excellent demonstration of this principle (which I deliberately choose from a context farremoved from any of my immediate current concerns) is provided by Garry Wills’s brilliant de-construction of the orthodox political liberalism of Arthur Schlesinger, particularly in the latter’srevealing opposition of “ideas” to “ideology”; see Wills, Nixon Agonistes,exp. ed. (New York: New2. My authority here is, of course, the American Heritage Dictionary....
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...1. John Guillory, “The Ideology of Canon-Formation: T. S. Eliot and Cleanth Brooks,” inCanons, ed. Robert von Hallberg (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 339.The question of the canon is one of the liveliest and most hotly debated in lit-erary studies today, and the—at best—marginal position that science fic-tion occupies with regard to the most widely influential canons of literaryvalue makes explicit consideration of canon-formation urgent. It is not diffi-cult to understand why challenges to the received canon and even critical in-...
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In this chapter, I offer substantial analyses of five major science-fiction novels.My aim is to demonstrate, in more detail than has previously been feasible, some of the different ways that science-fiction texts resonate strongly withconcerns proper to critical theory. I do not attempt exhaustive readings, partlyfor reasons of economy, but also in order to warn against the imbecile empiri-cism that the notion of “practical criticism” often implies and the concomi-tant naïveté that holds the minute examination of particular texts to be the ul-...
Coda: Critical Theory, Science Fiction, and the Postmodern
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As we have seen, it is in the nature of both critical theory and science fiction to speculate about the future. It seems appropriate, then, to conclude thisbook with some speculations about the future of critical theory and sci-ence fiction themselves. In order to do so, it is necessary to coordinate each ofthese categories with our current historical moment, which is usually desig-nated the moment of the postmodern. First, however, we must try to get somesense of just what this very widespread but often ambiguous term can usefully...
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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...publishes books under its own imprint and is the publisher for Brandeis University Press, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College Press, University of New Hampshire, Tufts University,Carl Freedman is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University and the author ofmore than thirty articles and of George Orwell: A Study in Ideology and Literary Form(1988). In1999 he received the Pioneer Award for Excellence in Scholarship from the Science Fiction...
Page Count: 228
Publication Year: 2013