A Survey of Australian Utopian and Dystopian Fiction
Literary perceptions of Australia's past and future have undergone close scrutiny at various periods in this country's history. The perspectives of fiction are of course a vital indication of historical and contemporary attitudes to our natural and social environments. One genre that is particularly revealing in this regard is Utopian literature. It has always been part of the Australian tradition, though a minor strand. It has been slighter in terms of comparative publication here than in other English-speaking countries, and less volatile in terms of relative optimism and pessimism. It nevertheless has been adopted by many Australian writers as a vehicle for works of social inspiration and, in the alternative form of the dystopia, forecasts of social disintegration.
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