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CLR Book Club – Week 10 March 7, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A quick question, how many of you are reading It Can’t Happen Here? And is there some way we can make that reading a bit more interactive?

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1. Starkadder - March 7, 2017

I’m reading the novel, and up to chapter 25 so far (been busy last week, and didn’t have much reading time).

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WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2017

I’m still in single digits, liking it a lot though.

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2. Starkadder - March 7, 2017

Seems the 1930s was the “Golden Age” of the dystopia, In addition to ICHH, every year in that decade saw at least one dystopian fiction of note:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_literature#1930s

Have we ever discussed Joseph O’Neill (the 1930s writer) here? He was one of the few Irish writers writing speculative fiction in this period.

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oconnorlysaght - March 9, 2017

As to dystopias, any sensitive creative artist, particularly a writer would have seen the thirties as a decade of dystopias.
Well, not H.G,Wells, but even he prophesied a short term world war before progress resumed.

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Starkadder - March 9, 2017

Wells (who Sinclair Lewis admired) was still turning out dark-hued fictions like “The Shape of Things to Come” and “The Holy Terror”. He had no illusions about the problems facing the world in that decade.

Of course, I know Wells is “persona non grata” in some leftist circles because of his negative remarks about Chuck Marx’s
ideas…. 😉

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oconnorlysaght - March 10, 2017

Re. Wells. Whatever about ‘The Holy Terror’, ‘Things to Come’ is far more optimistic than, for example, ‘Brave New World’ or ‘It Can Happen Here’. Yes, Wells could see the coming World War, but he could see, too, that it was, in a sense, the birth throes of something far better. Where he went to pieces, was in recognising, as it were, the midwife of the post war order. In the event, he was shocked and horrified (understandably) by the atomic bomb.
That he was as accurate as he was is a tribute to his imaginative instincts. His serious works (‘Outline of History’, et al.) contain vast amounts of facts that he doesn’t know how to put together. I fear Lenin was indeed close to the bone in saying of him, ‘What a Philistine!’

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3. yourcousin - March 7, 2017

Sorry, just ordered my copy. I’ll go stand in the corner now.

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4. Starkadder - March 9, 2017

I’m up to Chapter 30.

One way “It Can’t Happen Here” is superior to both “Nineteen Eighty Four” and “Brave New World” is having a diverse set of female characters with actual personalities-not just women defined by being the object of the male character’s sexual attentions, or standing in the background. Sissy and Lorinda Pike are the stand-out female characters for me so far, although the authoritarian Mrs. Gimmitch is a memorable villainess (a New England version of Nora Bennis or Alice Glenn?)

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