In the last few years, the fields of utopian studies and memory studies have independently developed an interest in how a concern with the past can inform the imagining of alternative futures. Both fields have interrogated the present possibility of utopian projects that look beyond the confines of the current socioeconomic order, a possibility that has been under pressure since the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s. Elliott Hall's dystopian noir thriller The Rapture (2010), which is part of his Strange trilogy, offers an acute diagnosis of the difficulties besetting the mobilization of memory for a utopian future. At the same time, the novel shows that one particular element in the discourse of memory studies, the notion of “trauma,” can play a vital role in restoring the conditions under which the utopian imagination can flourish again.
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Pieter Vermeulen; Disappearing the Future: Memory Culture and Dystopia in Elliott Hall's The Rapture. Poetics Today 1 September 2016; 37 (3): 473–494. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-3599519
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