January 13, 2009

Not with a Bang, But With a Simper

Richard is right to cite Atlas Shrugged as partly a prophecy of our times—the only sort of book which such a very partial artist as Ms. Rand could have created, lacking the nuance and self-criticism to be found in anti-Utopias by multi-dimensional writers like Huxley, Orwell, or Anthony Burgess (the last of these wrote three very different anti-Utopian novels, or “cacotopias” as he called them, each of them worth reading: A Clockwork Orange, The Wanting Seed, and 1985. Each is very different, and depressingly prescient.)

To complete Richard’s picture, I’d say that the future Americans now face seems like an inartistic pastiche of Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World, The Camp of the Saints, and Howard the Duck.

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