Imperialists of the air – flying stories 1900–1950
in Imperialism and juvenile literature
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The emergence of flying stories in the early years of the twentieth century can be seen as response to specific technological developments going on in aviation. The plots of most flying stories tend to fall into one of two categories either about exploits in the First or Second World War, or about criminals or mysteries of some kind. Lucien Goldmann argues that the later periods of western capitalism, especially the imperialist period can be identified by the appearance of a world increasingly dominated by objects with their own autonomy. Though flying stories continued to be popular in the Second World War, as writers of the older generation disappeared, the new writers of adventure stories preferred to experiment in fantasy and science fiction. The earliest writers in the pre-1914 phase owe a good deal more to fantasy and invention than to precise scientific knowledge.


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