Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

21 p.

Publication Date

7-2016

Publisher

DePauw University

Source Publication

Science Fiction Studies

Source ISSN

0091-7729

Original Item ID

DOI: 10.5621/sciefictstud.43.2.0310

Abstract

Using research undertaken at the Olaf Stapledon archive at the University of Liverpool, this article explores the tension between cosmopolitan optimism and cosmic pessimism that structures Stapledon's 1937 novel Star Maker, and asks whether the novel succeeds in solving the philosophical problems that first spurred Stapledon to write it. I conclude, unhappily, that it does not: while an impressive achievement, and despite a surface optimism, the book's confrontation with infinity, totality, and the sublime is ultimately depressive rather than generative of a felicitous cosmological order, requiring Stapledon to try again and again to somehow solve this philosophical conundrum in the subsequent books that make up the later portion of his career.

Comments

Published version. Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 43, No. 2 (July 2016): 310-330. DOI. © DePauw University 2016. Used with permission.

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