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Titre : 334
Éditeur : MacGibbon & Kee ., London
Date d'édition : 1972
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat de la jaquette : Dust Jacket Included
Edition : 1st Edition
Octavo, boards. First edition. "Six interweaving tales set in twenty-first century New York, a scene of high unemployment and heartless 'welfareism.' The book deals convincingly (and unusually) with the marginalized members of a future society. The result is moving and at times harrowing: a masterpiece." - Pringle, The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction, second edition, p. 372, "A brilliant work, utterly convincing in its portraits of people trying to get by in a world they are powerless to influence or control. The most eloquent display of the pessimism that became newly acceptable in New Wave SF." - Anatomy of Wonder (2004) II-346. 1974 Nebula nominee. Pringle, Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels 66. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 338. Survey of Science Fiction Literature V, pp. 2774-77. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. Sharp copy with dust jacket not price clipped, unusual thus. (#21017). N° de réf. du libraire 21017
Synopsis : Set 50 years into the future in New York, technocrats and administrators have alleviated the ills of economic deprivation. But in this "paradise" of harmonious life, there seems a sense of spiritual alienation. The residents at 334--a huge and anonymous apartment complex--give us a vivid, humorous and disturbing view of what the future holds.
Critique: The stories in 334 revolve loosely around a government housing project at 334 East 11th Street in New York City in the 2020s. The project's inhabitants are universally poor, often jobless, sometimes squalid. Some are happy, others angry, depressed, or just numb. The stories study their hopes and disappointments, and all are deeply introspective.
The early 21st-century setting might, in the hands of another author, be only a guise, a shortcut to making a world that's more gritty, shabby, and used up than ours. But Disch's future is thoroughly imagined, and he's adept at dropping in details of his characters' lives that are commonplace to them but jarring to us. It might be something as simple as going to the kitchen to "mix up a glass of milk." Occasionally it's radical, as in the case of Millie, who wants to have a baby but also keep her career. The answer? The child is gestated in an artificial womb and Millie's husband gets mammary implants.
Though American, Disch is closely associated with the UK's New Wave movement, and these stories reflect the New Wave emphasis on character above ideas. He's also a well-known poet, and in 334 you'll find some of the most lyrical science fiction written. --Brooks Peck
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