За какво служи фантастиката?

Here be unicorns. И музика и филми, вдъхновени от човешките ни книги. И всичко, дето ви е на сърце, ама не може да се побере в ^такива^ тесни теми...

За какво служи фантастиката?

Postby Кал » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:25 am

Не мога да повярвам, че си нямаме такава тема досега. Рових... рових... рових... рових... рових... но не намерих ни една, която да се занимава с фундаменталните функции на фантастичното.

Започваме с откъси от интервю на Владо Полеганов, публикувано наскоро в Europe Now:

Reading and Translation: An Interview with Vladimir Poleganov

(...) EuropeNow Although your writing is fictional and mostly in the science fiction realm, it is not detached from some current affairs and challenges. You often touch upon themes such as environment, memory, and identity, to name a few. Historically, science fiction has this potential to depict the reality of the future, why isn’t it so popular nowadays?

Vladimir Poleganov I like Samuel R. Delany’s idea that science fiction deals with the present and not the future. It shows us a significantly distorted present, reveals an estranged face of the familiar, and in doing so helps us understand something about ourselves (as readers, human beings, thinking beings). Good science fiction is always about something current. Best science fiction is about something current that is still invisible to a large extent to most people. This takes us back to the first question, because science fiction writers are not so much clairvoyants as they are careful readers.

Speculative fiction, for me, is the best medium for exploring themes of memory and identity. People often say that the future is an imaginary place, but so is the past—it’s a constructed country, an invention of memory. Identity is also something invented but also confined by memory. And memories are eerie (in the sense of the word as defined by Mark Fisher) things—they are signs of something missing and not present, yet they are a sort of presence. Identity, on the other hand, is something weird (again, I am following Mark Fisher’s definition)—it’s a combination of many things, many of which are strange, invisible, hidden, frightening. Speculative fiction—as a way of writing the strange, the invisible, and the impossible—seems to be best equipped for such explorations.

(...) EuropeNow I feel that the boundaries of fiction as a free space for writers’ imagination to explode and create is shrinking. More and more, fiction doesn’t provide a shelter or alibi for its creators, it is often approached by its readers as nonfiction. Writers and artists in general are held responsible for their fictional characters and plots. In the US, for example, advocates of international literature, attempting to gain traction for translated fiction, employ as a selling point the ability of international literature to introduce American readers to other cultures, which also represents this pressure to bounce back to reality.

It seems to me that science fiction as a genre still provides this freedom that fiction used to provide. To what extend does the choice of genre help you overcome some of these new trends and limits?

Vladimir Poleganov Science fiction actually can introduce foreign readers to the present realities of a country. Yoss’s novels are a good example. A Planet for Rent is as much about humanity’s future as it is about Cuba’s present. Or any nation in the grip of commercially and/or ideologically colonizing forces. Another form of speculative fiction—the Latin American magic realism—also does that. But I agree that for the past couple of years, readers and probably publishers and critics have been showing more interest in stories that present something in a realistic or autobiographical manner. It’s a global tendency, I think. It doesn’t mean that it’s not producing fantasies—of course it is. Memory and desire—the foundations of every autobiographical writing—create beasts that are always fantastic. Maybe there is need for something that resembles reality as closely as possible. But the thing is, this is pure nostalgia. Understandable, legible, ”normal,” and visible reality seems no longer possible. If it comes in forms that are understandable and easy to digest, it’s most probably fake.

(...) EuropeNow How is your training in clinical psychology affecting your writing, if at all?

Vladimir Poleganov It has helped me realize that the so-called psychological realism is as great a fiction as science fiction or fantasy. We don’t know much about ourselves and our place in this world, in this universe, and we must always keep in mind that everything we know is uncertain and a result of a series of conventions.

EuropeNow Since Aristotle, humans have been perceived as social animals. The “language gene” is perhaps what differentiates us from other creatures capable of communication by using paralanguage, for example. How do you look at recent scientific experiments to translate animals’ speech using brain imaging and AI?

Vladimir Poleganov It is an important field of research, I think. I am, of course, not a scientist, so my point of view is that of an artist, which is a somewhat utopian point of view. But translating animal languages sounds very close to what fantastic literature does—it’s a literature that is constantly looking for ways to express the inexpressible, to give voice to the non-human, to change our ideas of what consciousness is.

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Re: За какво служи фантастиката?

Postby Кал » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:45 am

In Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Adrienne Maree Brown wrote:Science fiction, particularly visionary fiction, is where I go when I need the medicine of possibility applied to the trauma of human behavior.


In our work for Octavia's Brood, Walidah and I articulated that 'all organizing is science fiction,' by which we mean that social justice work is about creating systems of justice and equity in the future, creating conditions that we have never experienced. This is a futurist focus, and the practices of collaboration and adaptation and transformative justice, are science fictional behavior. We didn't create this understanding, we observed it among the afrofuturists and sci fi writers and creators we grew up loving and being liberated by. Language changes with time, and sometimes the word for a people or an action comes centuries late. But I want to always remember and honor those who stayed and stay future oriented in the face of oppression.

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