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Red BritainThe Russian Revolution in Mid-Century Culture$
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Matthew Taunton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817710.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

The Radiant Future

The Radiant Future

(p.12) 1 The Radiant Future
Red Britain

Matthew Taunton

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the idea of the future and the transformations it underwent as a result of the Russian Revolution. Drawing on theories of historicity and temporality described by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Reinhardt Koselleck, and François Hartog, the chapter examines the various ways in which the concept of the future was disturbed by and rethought in relation to events in Russia. What happens when the word ‘socialism’—which had until 1917 been a speculation about an ideal utopian future—becomes attached to a particular state? What happens when a country renowned for its ‘backwardness’ takes on a strong association with progress? And how did writers and intellectuals respond to the Stalinist myth of the ‘Radiant Future’, which defended terror and starvation in the name of building socialism? The chapter includes analysis of works by H. G. Wells, John Cournos, C. Day Lewis, W. H. Auden, and Dorothy Richardson.

Keywords:   utopia and literature, Marxism, socialism, Dorothy Richardson, Fabianism, H. G. Wells, John Cournos, Russian Revolution, modernism

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