This article explores the more detached and ironic view of Blake that emerged in the 1970s compared to appropriations of him in the 1960s, as evident in three science-fiction novels: Ray Nelson’s Blake’s Progress (1977), Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve (1977), and J. G. Ballard’s The Unlimited Dream Company (1979). In adopting a more antagonistic posture towards Blake, all three of these books reflect increasingly ambivalent attitudes towards the countercultures of the 1960s, and can be read as critical of some of those very energies that the Romantic movement was seen to embody. Thus Nelson rewrites the relationship of William and Catherine, in which the engraver comes under the influence of a diabolic Urizen, while Carter recasts the Prophet Los as a Charles Manson-esque figure. Even Ballard, the most benign of the three, views Blakean energy as a release of potentially dangerous psychopathologies. In all the novels, we see a contrarian use of misprision, rewriting Blake as Blake had rewritten Milton.
disappeared, and the new writers of adventure stories preferred to work in the more traditional mode of historical romance, or to experiment in fantasy and science fiction. It is significant that even the one great exception to this decline, W. E. Johns, who did retain his popularity into the 1960s, himself turned to writing science fiction from 1954. 6 The earliest writers in the pre-1914 phase owe a good deal
cosmic science and science fiction. Although he does not acknowledge the cosmic designation of the ‘éspaces’ of his title, Foucault’s account of how space as medieval, ordered emplacement was transformed into an infinite potentiality of spatial extension is founded on a discussion of that astronomical hero, Galileo. One might say that ‘space’, in the cosmic sense, was implicated in space, in the heterotopian sense, from its inception (one need only think of the counter-site of the Starship Enterprise, first launched in the year before Foucault’s lecture). Certainly the
The first chapter covers the period from the end of the First World War until 1935, when the Air Raid Precautions Sub-Committee became a department in the Home Office. It draws together military, literary, planning and architectural visions of urban areas to highlight how dystopian versions of the future and responses to contemporary urban problems influenced the development of air power theories. It demonstrates that there was a widespread assumption that cities would be the primary targets in air war, and highlights the way airpower theorists’ arguments drew on perceptions of urban populations as weak and vulnerable. Science fiction and cultural anxieties about the future and cities were concentrated around the threat of bombing, and architects and planners were recasting their task as planning for survival in an anticipated era of air war. The three sections of this chapter connect the speculations and extrapolations of airpower theory to the debates in urbanism about the problems of the cities, and highlight the influence of aviation and the aerial view on speculations about the future shape of society and the possibility of urban annihilation from the air.
with ‘outsider art’, HEXEN unravelled a host of links between military research, occult ritual, and mass popular culture. The diagrams included in the work make frenetic links between Second World War American rocket research, the smuggling of Nazi technicians, the black magic occultism of Aleister Crowley and other 140 Machine-Ghost.indb 140 6/12/2013 12:11:38 PM What happens in the gaps 141 self-proclaimed masters of the dark arts, weird psychical research experiments, science fiction, The Wizard of Oz, and the Jewish kabbala. Since HEXEN, Treister has explored
. Combining elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, afrocentrism and magic realism, afrofuturism interrogates the historical predicament of black people addressing the concerns of the African diaspora through the lens of technoculture and science fiction. Race and technology underpin afrofuturism’s exploration of black identity in utopian and dystopian frames. 28 Afrofuturism encompasses creative writers (e.g. Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler), painters (e.g. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Angelbert Metoyer, celebrated in exhibitions in Harlem in 2014 and
? Would higher be mightier? Might there be an imperial role for aviation in the fashion that military officials and science fiction writers had been suggesting since the mid-1880s? 1 Antecedents In London, sentiment for maintaining imperial tradition was strong. Indeed, in a precocious step that mimicked the establishment of the Navy League, the Aerial League of the British Empire
the future responses to hypothetical potential future actions. As such, it was played out as a form of somehow knowledgeable anticipation of the future, an anticipation that incorporated elements of science fiction even when this was not the designated genre of reflecting potential outcomes of the use of nuclear weapons. Nowhere was the close interplay between science fiction and the reality of nuclear war planning more obvious than in the US strategic defence initiative (SDI), launched in 1983, with its v 23 v Matthew Grant and Benjamin Ziemann core metaphor of
This chapter analyses attitudes towards dirt and bodily waste in nineteenth-century British and French science fiction novels as a means of understanding perceptions of disease and hygiene in the early period of bacteriology. One of its aims is to consider what this tells us about the modern individual's relationship with the body, especially the ways in which the ambivalence of this relationship is distinctively explored through literary texts. To do this, I examine three utopian novels from the last decades of the century, when the emphasis on extreme cleanliness
The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.