About once a week, something straight out of the classic dystopian novels happens to me and I take a moment to appreciate their foresight and vision. Between 1984 (1949), Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Brave New World (1931), and Catch-22 (1961), just about every important lesson on understanding current political and social climate can be learned.
The last of those novels, Catch-22, was written in 1961. It is more specific to military culture though, so the last universal dystopian classic was Fahrenheit 451 written in 1953. Sometimes I wonder why no great dystopian novels have been written since. Was it a matter of completeness, ie, nothing more needed to be said? Or perhaps it is because there is no need to predict what is already in motion. Does the literary community feel that we have reached the end of history and there is little more to write about other than the technology-driven amplification of current trends? Maybe the change is more structural and the novel is dying as an intellectual art form. Maybe, on a related vector, those authors who would be writing these novels are instead today’s bloggers, discussing issues directly and in real-time rather than writing allegory, metaphor, and grand stories?
Regardless of the exact reason, what will the literary crowd of the future say of this era’s works? Will the archives of Roissy, Dalrock, et. al. be examined in the same way as the classics are examined today? It’s difficult to tell. This author is worried about just that: that in the future we shall be studying “The Collected Emails of:” and “The Collected Tumblr Posts and Tweets of:” He thinks this would be a tragedy, and that no one will want to look back and recount the stories from these authors’ writings and their lives. How will those of the future judge the history being made today? Guess we’ll just have to wait to find out.