Early Soviet Science Fiction and the Unevenness of Modernism : An Aerial View

Julia CHAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


In envisioning alternative futures—utopian, dystopian, cataclysmic—we historicize the present. Marxist critics like Fredric Jameson read science fiction as the new Lukácsian historical novel.[1] Others, turning to a further distant future, elaborate on the new perceptions of time and space offered in SF as visions that push toward cosmic and nonhuman scales.[2] As such, SF shares with the modernism of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce a similar interest in defamiliarization, in the limits or failure of representation, and in deconstructing the illusion of realism through cognitive estrangement. Science fiction and modernism, critics claim, intersect not simply in a few high literary works like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) or the Strugatsky Brothers’ Roadside Picnic (1972) but at the more fundamental level of science fiction “itself as a modernist practice” invested in the novum, in making it new.[3]
Original languageEnglish
JournalModernism/Modernity Print Plus
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


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