Plutocratic dystopia and workers' utopias in Morris's news from nowhere and Pynchon's Against the Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Pynchon's Against the Day (2006) focuses on the opposition between owners and workers in the quarter century after the Chicago Columbian Exposition (1893). Pynchon depicts an existing plutocratic dystopia in which millions barely subsist and union organizers are tortured and killed-a world of which Matthew Josephson's The Robber Barons (1934) provides a detailed antecedent account. However, Pynchon also imagines numerous utopian sites that show strong parallels with William Morris's utopian News from Nowhere (1891). In both works, inequality between owners and workers is corrected outside state organizations; anarchist and socialist thought prove to be complementary, not opposed; and travel to the future or outside the dystopian present opens up alternate visions of the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalOrbit (Cambridge)
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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