“Immagina il passato, ricorda il futuro”. I tempi della distopia

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] “Imagine the past, remember the future”. The times of dystopia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dystopia is one of the most famous expressions of contemporary fiction. But it also constitutes one of the most important forms of political thought between the 19th and 20th centuries. In the dystopian novel, the past, present and future are mutually intertwined to highlight the traumas, fears, and anxieties of society and politics. In any dystopian tale, in fact, the narrative plane is projected forward into the future in order to look back through the past (and present). Dystopia, therefore, is nothing more than an attempt to imagine the past (as well as the present) and to remember the future (built on supposed analogies with past experience). This essay analyses the early origins and subsequent developments of dystopian literature, attempting to understand the motives and aims of the authors who used this narrative genre. It shows the different roots and polemical goals that characterise dystopian literature. Finally, it will be emphasised how dystopia represents a warning against the main social, economic, natural and political dangers that have accompanied and will continue to accompany the lives of human beings. At the same time, it will be emphasised that dystopia is not a form of negativity without hopelessness.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] “Imagine the past, remember the future”. The times of dystopia
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationIl futuro capovolto. Per una mappa degli immaginari distopici del XXI secolo
EditorsD Palano
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Dystopia
  • Anti-utopia
  • Past and Future
  • Totalitarianism
  • Politics


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