Mickiewicz’s  {A History of the Future} and the question of dystopia Cover Image

{Historie przyszłości} Mickiewicza i kwestia dystopii
Mickiewicz’s {A History of the Future} and the question of dystopia

Author(s): Jerzy Fiećko
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydział Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: A. Mickiewicz; romantyzm; antyutopia; dystopia; historiozofia; fantastyka naukowa; fikcja polityczna; Adam Mickiewicz; Romanticism; anti-utopia; dystopia; historiosophy; science fiction; political fiction

Summary/Abstract: The author aims to identify elements of dystopia in three unfinished manuscripts by Mickiewicz which were published in one volume entitled {A History of the Future}. The article first examines the terminological difficulties associated with differentiating between the notions of “anti-utopia” and “dystopia”. It then proceeds to discuss a prose work by Mickiewicz which exists only in the form of a summary written by Antoni Edward Odyniec, a friend of the poet. The analysis of Odyniec’s depiction leads to a conclusion that Mickiewicz was writing an innovative work according to the poetics of science fiction, a genre largely unknown at the time, a work which would predict the directions of Europe’s development in the areas of ethics, politics, civilization and technology. It is impossible, however, to determine the potential significance of dystopian factors in that work. The largest number of dystopian features was found in the second fragment of {A History of the Future} which describes the final stage of a Pan-European revolution against monarchal order. The last fragment of {A History of the Future}, which predicts the course of a political coup in France, is connected in the present article not so much with the poetics of dystopia as with the genre of “political fiction”.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 4 (7)
  • Page Range: 333-344
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish