Sarah Cole’s Inventing Tomorrow: H. G. Wells and the Twentieth Century, published in late 2019, is the first study of Wells to focus on his connections to and conflicts with literary modernism. Whereas other studies treat his most widely read, most “prescient,” or most politically relevant stories, Inventing Tomorrow seeks a grand Wellsian view of his entire oeuvre, produced over a half-century career. By juxtaposing his work with that of canonized modernist authors, Cole explicates modernists’ influence on what has constituted “literature” since the early twentieth century. Where scholars and critics have long denigrated his and his literary inheritors’ work as “pulp” or “popular,” Cole takes a more positive view, calling for a new future for Wells scholarship in literary modernism. Nor does her positive outlook resemble the fandom endemic to late twentieth-century science fiction scholarship, which has so often lionized Wells for his admittedly considerable contributions to genre...
Inventing Tomorrow: H.G. Wells and the Twentieth Century by Sarah Cole
Aaron M. Long is a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. His research focuses on the long nineteenth century’s scientific romances as a design discourse for once-futuristic vehicles. He has published in Science Fiction Film and Television and Nautilus: A Maritime Journal of Literature, History, and Culture.
Aaron M. Long; Inventing Tomorrow: H.G. Wells and the Twentieth Century by Sarah Cole. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 June 2022; 68 (2): 235–240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-9808130
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