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Tenses of Imagination

Raymond Williams on Science Fiction, Utopia and Dystopia

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Edited By Andrew Milner

Raymond Williams was an enormously influential figure in late twentieth-century intellectual life as a novelist, playwright and critic, «the British Sartre», as The Times put it. He was a central inspiration for the early British New Left and a close intellectual supporter of Plaid Cymru. He is widely acknowledged as one of the «founding fathers» of cultural studies, who established «cultural materialism» as a new paradigm for work in both literary and cultural studies. There is a substantial secondary literature on Williams, which treats his life and work in each of these respects. But none of it makes much of his enduring contribution to utopian studies and science fiction studies. This volume brings together a complete collection of Williams’s critical essays on science fiction and futurology, utopia, and dystopia, in literature, film, television, and politics, and with extracts from his two future novels, The Volunteers (1978) and The Fight for Manod (1979).
Both the collection as a whole and the individual readings are accompanied by introductory essays written by Andrew Milner.

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Reading 9 On Morris: An Interview (1977) 87

Extract

Reading 9 On Morris: An Interview (1977) Editor’s Introduction Both in The Highway in 1956 and in Culture and Society in 1958, Williams found Morris’s utopia almost as unsatisfactory as Orwell’s dystopia. He repeats something of this criticism in ...

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