Dystopia and its Relation to the Past, Present, and Future



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Both utopian and dystopian literary works are often described as an interconnection of the present and future and ways the present is actively being reflected in futuristic stories. This paper challenges the idea of dystopias being often narrowly perceived as merely unreal, imaginary stories reflecting the future portraying trajectories which social situations, environmental changes, or political ideologies may take by course of their evolution. It explores the relation of dystopian stories and their worlds to the present as well as, importantly, the past. It observes and analyzes the possible reasons for the genre’s ongoing and continual reappearance throughout literature. It also finds its connections to the Russian formalist concept of defamiliarization applied in, but also outside, the arts, peeking into the natural world and the theories of entropy as well as autopoiesis, and their appropriation in the literary sphere. It proposes perceiving dystopias as natural constituents depicting the estranged and disordered versions of the real world, which, through their eyes, enable one to perceive relations differently, out of their usual context, stripping their connotations away and seeing them with fresh eyes. Via such perception, particularly distinct from the known, dystopias offer the possibility of shedding light on those issues of the actual world which its organized counterpart may not always be capable of.
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