|12-29-2007, 09:18 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
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Benson, Robert Hugh: The Dawn of All, v.1, 30 Dec 2007.
This novel may be seen as either a utopia or a dystopia. Benson imagines a future in which the church is triumphant. But is this a good thing? Even he seems to have reservations.
Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) was the youngest son of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, and brother to the writer, E F Benson. After his father’s death he converted to Catholicism, was ordained as a priest, later becoming a monsignor.
From a review at www.Benson-unabridged.com:
The Dawn of All. The second of Benson’s two science fiction satires, The Dawn of All is a “counter-blast” to the terrifying Lord of the World. Contradicting the notion that this novel presents a blueprint for an ideal society, C.C. Martindale, S.J. commented that “Benson wrote often and emphatically that he did not for a moment expect the pictured solution to realize itself, and that he even hoped it would not. Neither Science, nor the State, nor Religion would ever, he was convinced, find themselves in such mutual relations as he had invented.” While Benson may have been inspired by Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward and other socialist utopian visions (including Louis-Sebastien Mercier’s Memoir of the Year 2440 from 1770), he gave a unique twist to the device of a man “unstuck” in time. This novel probably inspired Evelyn Waugh’s short story, “Out of Depth,” which in turn seems to have had significant influence on Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s Slaughterhouse Five.
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