Anarchist fiction

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Anarchist fiction

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1rubicon528
Mar 10, 2013, 10:12am

Anarchist fiction titles please!

2HectorSwell
Mar 10, 2013, 11:44am

3HarryMacDonald
Mar 10, 2013, 1:08pm

HARMONY JUNCTION by myself. Try some of "Victor Serge's" early stuff, but please understand that by the time he wrote L'AFFAIR TULAIEFF his anarchist day behind him. Also FAMILY by Pa Chin. Will send more some other time.

4konallis
Editado: Mar 10, 2013, 1:37pm

5HarryMacDonald
Mar 10, 2013, 1:48pm

In re #4. I've not read this LeGuin title. What makes it anarchist? Presumably an ethical vision? This interests me. Thanks in advance!

6konallis
Mar 10, 2013, 1:54pm

5: It's set partly on a moon where a group of people (political exiles, IIRC) have formed a society without formal government or private property.

7HarryMacDonald
Mar 10, 2013, 3:05pm

In re #6. Thanks for the clarification. One might properly call this book "anarchist thought material". The conceptual issue arises: when do the working arrangements of a society become a government, or, are voluntary arrangements sufficient and sustainable? Imporant questions. Two more things. I forgot to mention William Morris' NEWS FROM NOWHERE. Also: in another group, a LTer is attempting to categorize some novels, and was reluctant to accept my suggestion of "anarchist", believing that there probably wouldn't be more than one. I have attempted to illuminate her!

8aulsmith
Mar 10, 2013, 7:39pm

Le Guin has a number of books dealing with functional anarchist societies, including Always Coming Home and The Eye of the Heron

Greg Egan has an anarchist society in Distress

Nancy Kress's Sleepless series has an anarchist community (Starts with Beggars in Spain)

Cecelia Holland has an anarchist society in Floating Worlds but I don't remember if it's socialist or anarcho-capitalist.

There's an anarchist society on Mars in Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang

9aulsmith
Mar 10, 2013, 7:45pm

See also this list

10PaulFoley
Mar 10, 2013, 7:51pm

The Dispossessed is a good portrayal of leftist "anarchism", but already in rubicon528's library.

11HarryMacDonald
Mar 10, 2013, 9:47pm

Since all the titles adduced here (except my submissions) have been English-language works from the past few decades, and all -- as far as I can see -- in the fantasy tradition rather than the historical or social-realist tradition -- I suppose I'd better dig-up some material from the many societies which have had a much richer anarchist heritage than the US, Britain, or the Comnmonwealth countries. In my copious free time . . .

12mkboylan
Mar 11, 2013, 12:06am

Dance the Eagle to Sleep by Marge Piercy
The Army of the Republic: a Novel by Stuart Archer Cohen

Raul Ramos y Sanchez trilogy Pancho Land, House Divided and America Libre (check order of publication and correct)

are some of my favorites. Not sure if they would meet anyone else's definition of anarchist fiction, perhaps more revolutionary. I'm seeing them as watching revolutionaries or anarchists' attempts to organize themselves and work through how that would look if voluntary, mutual aid, but there come the usual power struggles. I think I am more focused on seeing how people move from frustration to action perhaps? I especially recommend Raul Ramos y Sanchez' work. I'm seeing it as people removing themselves from govt control to freedom and then what? I'm finding this all particularly interesting while watching Occupy Wall Street and looking at David Graeber and other anarchists' work, all helping me to understand what occurs after revolutions normally e.g. in Egypt and Syria, the
battle between different "parties" and thereby keeping my hopes up.

13mkboylan
Mar 11, 2013, 12:09am

I would also add any fiction by Edward Abbey pretty much.

15mkboylan
Mar 11, 2013, 12:37am

And then I googled anarchist fiction and my head exploded with joy! From the wiki list alone!

16HarryMacDonald
Mar 11, 2013, 7:20am

Merikay, you have struck the note which I attempted, so far in vain. I will only add two things at this point. First, that the original question, as posed, did not distinguish between works which presented an anarchist vision or perspective, and works in which anarchists appeared as characters. For the latter group, I need only say that with few exceptions the pre-modern works tend to be painful demonstrations of the authors' grotesque ignorance. Can anyone here say "Joseph Conrad"?

17lawecon
Mar 12, 2013, 1:57pm

And Then There Were None (reprinted as a part of The Great Explosion) by Eric Frank Russell http://www.abelard.org/e-f-russell.php

18rubicon528
Mar 18, 2013, 3:02pm

Thanks all for the suggestions, great stuff. Wondering if there are any particular novels centred around 'lifestyle anarchism' (as Bookchin termed it) - about life in squats and bucking the system.

19HarryMacDonald
Editado: Mar 18, 2013, 4:56pm

In re #18. There are plenty of novels which have that as a scenic element, but as a thematic one, I can't say that I know of any which I would take seriously. One might call Hawthorne's BLITHEDALE ROMANCE one such novel, but its purpose is avowedly satirical. By contrast, Joseph Conrads excursions into tghie area, though meant seriously, are so bad as to be self-satirizing. I suppose one might push the definition to include Dostoyesvky's BYESY (variously translated in English as THE DEVILS or THE POSSESSED.
There is this to consider. The idea that lifestyle itself is revolutionary is dam' near a dead-end one, at-least in terms of an definable ideology which can be discusses and shared among people in society at-large. What it comes down is this: one becomes so "revolutionary" as an individual that social change becomes unnecessary. OK: that's plausible, and it certainly has happened: the history of religion is full of such examples. But that stretches the definition of "revolution" to the breaking point. If you read French, you might want to look into the history of the Bonnot gang, a group started by anarchists who decided that the revolution was taking too long, and thus decided to support their personal emancipation by robbing banks. They came to a very bad end.
Last-minte thought: there is Ernest Callenbach's ECOTOPIA, and then too, I would be amazed if somepone hadn't written something about the Rote Armee Fraktion, known later as "the Baader-Meinhof gang".
Please let us know how you fare!

20HarryMacDonald
Editado: Mar 18, 2013, 4:56pm

I've done a little work for you, comrade. There ARE indeed some titles on LT in re the Bonnot, some in French, one (a history, not a novel) in English, by one Richard Perry. As I have thought about this, I have also thought you might look into some of the fiction by the sometime anarchist (later Bolshevik) Kilbachich who wrote as "Victor Serge". Solidarity! O yeah, while it's more in the nature of characterization than theme per se, my own HARMONY JUNCTION has a good old anarchist militant as one of the principal figures. Actually two . . .

21lawecon
Editado: Mar 18, 2013, 9:22pm

~18

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

22aulsmith
Mar 18, 2013, 9:46pm

18: You might try John Dos Passos' USA. It's more about working class life than anarchism per se, but it's got that sort of Ammon Hennacy/Utah Philips feel to it.

The Dispossessed is definitely lifestyle anarchism for part of the book. So is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, for that matter.

Also, we forgot Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge when we were doing the sf.

Is there a reason you're interested in fiction and not history/biography?

23lawecon
Mar 19, 2013, 1:29am

~19

"There is this to consider. The idea that lifestyle itself is revolutionary is dam' near a dead-end one, at-least in terms of an definable ideology which can be discusses and shared among people in society at-large. What it comes down is this: one becomes so "revolutionary" as an individual that social change becomes unnecessary. OK: that's plausible, and it certainly has happened: the history of religion is full of such examples. But that stretches the definition of "revolution" to the breaking point."

Ah, so? What ever made you think that anarchism was about revolution, overthrowing one political structure to replace it with another? I always thought it was about abolition.

24HarryMacDonald
Mar 19, 2013, 8:41am

In re #23. Think what you want, but don't let your particular biases -- which are obvious enough in your various posts -- cut you off from meaningful discussion. Otherwise, why even bother to blog here? When it comes down to that, you can say that a stalk of celery is actually a bottle of peanut oil. Definitions are predicated on shared understanding of meaning, if not in close specifics, then at-least with enough detailto a llow discussion. Whether you're talking about something specific, like the FAI or the writings of Malatesta or, by contrast, the "illegalism" of the Bonnot gang or the teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, the common thread is transformation. To define anarchism simply as abolition is to join a great mass of ignorant or malicioius slobs in a hateful stereotype (bombs, beared men with wild eyes, Spanish workers raping nuns, etc). I don't think you are an ignorant or malicious slob, but you ought to consider the implications of what you say. I recall Samuel Johnson (certainly the antithesis of anarchism): "Clear your mind of cant. You may talk this way, but pray do not think this way." (Thank you, Doctor)

25lawecon
Mar 19, 2013, 9:52am

"To define anarchism simply as abolition is to join a great mass of ignorant or malicioius slobs in a hateful stereotype (bombs, beared men with wild eyes, Spanish workers raping nuns, etc). I don't think you are an ignorant or malicious slob, but you ought to consider the implications of what you say."

Harry, Harry, keep your shorts on. What incredible fantasies you read into a short phrase.

When I say that anarchism is about abolition, I mean what most anarchists have always meant, most of the time. Anarchism is about abolition of the state. (You might look up "state" - it doesn't necessarily mean "law" (which many anarchists acknowledge is a necessity) and it certainly doesn't mean "social order.") More broadly, many "left anarchists" (of which I am not firmly aligned) think that anarchism is about the abolition of any hierarchy. Hence, a boss managed, as opposed to committee managed and owned, business firm would be abolished.

Get it Harry? You are the one preaching revolution. I preach no means to the end. Revolutions often don't work all that well, albeit passive resistance and persistent persuasion do work, and with little or no blowback. Revolutions are nasty, violent and often create a group of rightly offended heirs of the deceased and dispossessed who want yet another revolution.......

(Incidentally, Harry, you might want to use the spellchecker available at this site. There are two rather obviously mis-spellings in the short passage I copy and pasted from your foaming at the mouth rant.)

26HarryMacDonald
Mar 19, 2013, 11:25am

A little lesson in etiquette, if you insist on eating with the grown-ups. It takes a real intellectual, a profound philosopher, a true mensch -- in the Yiddish sense -- to post abuse while hiding behind a totally anonymous account. Ordinarily, I put any such LT participants in the same bin with people who scribble on the walls of public rest-rooms, although some of them at-least add their 'phone-numbers. I tend not to have anything to do with such LTers.
As the twit-generation is wont to say, "bad on me" for lapsing from that policy with you. I wish you joy of your beliefs, and apologize for the lapses from orthographical righteousness. But not too much: decades of work in industry, building, and now the woods have taken their toll. A rather different kind of limitation than emerges fron self-imposed intellectual tunnel viision and whatever eye-strain follows a few years of playing on the internet.
Believe it or not, peace to you. O yes, your concerns for the "rightly offended heirs of the deceased and the dispossessed" are praiseworthy in some sense, but I wonder whether you, with your picture of John Brown, would have the moxie to tell an African-American that you're sorry for the inconvenience to slave-owners' families occasioned by the fall of chattel-slavery. Plane's leaving soon for Reality Island, all aboard, no reservations required.

27lawecon
Mar 19, 2013, 5:45pm

I see you are really not interested in this topic.

28KevinEady
Mayo 12, 2013, 7:16am

I've just recently published a novel, called 'Uncontrollable', which is the autobiography of a fictional 101-year-old Spanish anarchist. He is born on the first day of the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909 and his long an eventful life finds him embroiled in many of the major events of 20th century anarchism. I published it as an e-book via Smashwords, but you can also obtain if from Apple, Barnes & Noble and others (but not yet from Amazon).

Kevin Eady

29Lunar
Editado: Mayo 21, 2013, 6:52am

#28: Just so you know, promoting your book in this manner is considered spam on Librarything even if your book's subject is related to the group's theme. You can join the Hobnob with Authors group if you want to discuss your work with other members, but most every other group on this website is meant for discussion without the commercial aspect of discussing books.

ETA: Just to be clear, we like authors here at Librarything. If you're involved in a discussion and you happen to refer to your own work in some way relevant to the conversion at hand, no one will crucify you for it. But to blatantly promote your books in an unsolicited manner and even going so far as announcing what venues it's available at is considered by many members to be a flaggable offense. Maybe you can use your profile page for that kind of information instead.