Wednesday 08th of December 2021


On Fake (Death-Dealing) vs. True (Life-Affirming) Novums

Darko Suvin (Emeritus, McGill University) pdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: In ‘On Fake (Death-Dealing) vs. True (Life-Affirming) Novums’, Darko Suvin returns to one of the foundational concepts of utopian and dystopian studies. Retracing how the concept had to be reconfigured once the dependence of late capitalist narratives of ‘progress’ on technocratic or ‘death-dealing’ novums was recognised, a fundamental ambiguity at the source of the novum was revealed. When rendered as ‘the spoils of war’, the novum has to be construed as a problematic rather than assumed as an explanation. The formal possibility of radically liberating novums should be disentangled these from other combinations the novum allows. The article concludes by emphasising the centrality of both a new rationality and solidarity to liberatory novums, and their absence in ‘dystopia 2.0’.


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