Histopias 00006

ISBN: 978-0-9939951-5-6

A (late) postmodernist phenomenon, histopias are fictional retellings of the history of the world. They often use utopian/dystopian scenarios, which are necessary as "world-historical effect": the end and/or rebirth of the world offer the possibility of narrating the fate of all mankind. Whether novelists or playwrights, histopian authors use a structural pattern that mirrors the way in which the world tells itself: both continuous and discontinuous, in turn linear, cyclical, or radial.

The foremost examples of histopias analysed here are Julian Barnes's A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters and David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, although the discussion of this fictional subgenre includes authors such as Bernard Shaw, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Carlos Fuentens, Roberto Calasso, William T Vollmann.

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