Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future is a science fiction novel written in 1930 by the British author Olaf Stapledon. A work of unprecedented scale in the genre, it describes the history of humanity from the present onwards across two billion years and eighteen distinct human species, of which our own is the first and most primitive. Stapledon's conception of history is based on the Hegelian Dialectic, following a repetitive cycle with many varied civilizations rising from and descending back into savagery over millions of years, but it is also one of progress, as the later civilizations rise to far greater heights than the first. The book anticipates genetic engineering, and the idea of superminds composed of many telepathically-linked individuals. A controversial part of the book depicts humans, in the far-off future, escaping the dying Earth and settling on Venus—in the process totally exterminating its native inhabitants, a marine intelligent species. Stapledon's book has been interpreted by some as condoning such interplanetary genocide as a justified act if necessary for racial survival, though a number of Stapledon's partisans denied that such was his intention, arguing instead that Stapledon was merely showing that although mankind had advanced in a number of ways in the future, at bottom it still possessed the same capacity for savagery as it has always hadBiographie de l'auteur :
Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) was born near Liverpool and educated at Balliol College, Oxford and Liverpool University. After spending eighteen months working in a shipping office in Liverpool and Port Said, he lectured extramurally for Liverpool University in English Literature and industrial history. He served in France from 1915 until 1919 with the Friends' Ambulance Unit and then lectured again for Liverpool University in psychology and philosophy. His novels include First and Last Men, Last Men in London, Star Maker and Odd John.
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Description du livre Paperback. État : Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. N° de réf. du libraire GOR002178021
Description du livre Gollancz, 2009. Paperback. État : near fine B-format paperback. 1st printing. One of the most extraordinary, imaginative and ambitious novels of the century: a history of the evolution of humankind over the next 2 billion years. N° de réf. du libraire FF17.178