'Back to Utopia'
In recent years, however, certain eminent contrarians - most notably Fredric Jameson, author of the seminal ''Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" (1991) and Russell Jacoby, author most recently of ''The End of Utopia" (1999) and ''Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age" (2005)-have lamented the wholesale abandonment of such utopian ideas of the left as the abolition of property, the triumph of solidarity, and the end of racism and sexism.
Borrowing Sartre's slogan, coined after the Soviet invasion of Hungary, about being neither communist nor anticommunist but ''anti-anticommunist," Jameson suggests we give ''anti-anti-utopianism" a try. In his latest book, ''Archaeologies of the Future," just published by Verso, he invites us to explore an overlooked canon of anti-anti-utopian narratives that some, to echo Niebuhr, might find embarrassingly adolescent: offbeat science fiction novels of the 1960s and '70s.
Jameson, a professor of comparative literature at Duke, isn't talking about ''Star Trek" novelizations. Because of the Cold War emphasis on dystopias, Cold War writers like Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Samuel R. Delany had to find radical new ways to express their inexpressible hopes about the future, claims Jameson. At this moment of neoliberal triumphalism, he suggests, we should take these writers seriously - even if their ideas are packaged inside lurid paperbacks.
(via Boing Boing
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