Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Dystopian Summer (MySpace 5.13.07)

So, given the state of the world these daze, I thought I'd tackle a growing genre of film an literature for my master's thesis. I'm unsure what angle I'll hit, but my reading list is phenomenal—I was amazed at not only the amount of dystopic lit—but the broad range of social issues it magnifies.

I'm reading Stephen King's (Or is it his hillbilly alter-ego, Richard Bachman?) "The Long Walk," the story of a reality show in a strange future where teenage boys are made to walk from Maine to Boston until the last one is standing. If they stop, they get a warning. If they get three warnings in an hour, their get a bullet in the skull. I was amazed to read that King wrote the majority of the novel when he was a college freshman—that man owns me in every literary context.

When I finish that one, I'm gonna read "Ecotopia," a fantasy in which California, Oregon and Washington secede from the union and bare visitors from their three-state hippy-commune where everyone recycles, lives in log cabins and commutes to work by bike or monorail system.

Then, I'll read Koushun Takami's "Battle Royale," a Japanese novel about a bunch of high-schoolers sent to an island to participate in a reality show where they kill one another off . It's kind of an updated "Lord of the Flies" and the author is said to be greatly inspired by King's book.

It's hard to say why dystopians are so intriguing to me. I guess I've always had an interest in them, even when I was a kid. The thought of a bleak future is always on the horizon—9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Virginia Tech, Saddam hanging from the rafters—maybe America is in a dystopic flux. A world of chaos and disorder. Maybe the end is near? Can you feel it? Smell it? Taste it?

I'm lost in this world I create…

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