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Mediated Utopias: From Literature to Cinema

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Edited By Artur Blaim and Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim

The volume comprises adaptation studies of ten selected utopian/dystopian fictions written and filmed in Europe and America during the 20 th and 21 st centuries: Things to Come, Lost Horizon, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Lord of the Flies, The Andromeda Nebula, Brave New World, Total Recall, The Secret Garden, Harrison Bergeron and Never Let Me Go. It focuses not only on the ways of constructing fictional realities and techniques of rendering literary utopias/dystopias into film, but also on their cultural and political determinants.
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“As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies: Artur Blaim

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“As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

ARTUR BLAIM

I must own that you could argue reasonably enough that one of my books, or the tone of it, is antiutopian. (William Golding,“Utopias and Antiutopias” 183)

Despite explicit authorial sanction and its occasional inclusion among canonical works of the genre,1 Lord of the Flies can hardly be regarded as a typical example of dystopian / antiutopian fiction.2 Elements which ← 95 | 96 → by the mid-twentieth century had become widely recognised as the genre’s distinctive features do not appear in their standardised form in the novel, which, however, displays a number of characteristics that indi-cate a fairly strong, if only metonymic and generalised, presence of utopian / dystopian conventions, often introduced by means of their subtle equivalents,3 that shape a not insignificant, if not necessarily the dominant, dimension of the book.

From the very beginning the exotic island in the Pacific Ocean appears as a relatively good place, with its warm climate, absence of dangerous animals, plenitude of food and fresh water, beautiful landscapes, and luxuriant vegetation, to which the protagonists respond with (almost) ecstatic joy:

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