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Alkon, Paul K

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1935-2020) US author and critic, Leo S Bing Professor of English Literature at the University of Southern California from 1980 until his retirement in 2007, subsequently emeritus; a specialist in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French literature. Origins of Futuristic Fiction (1987) is a vigorous and influential study of the creation of the idea of the future that evolved, mostly in France, from the end of the eighteenth century, as reflected in the fiction and literary theory of the time; this won an Eaton Award. Alkon resuscitated the almost forgotten figure of Félix Bodin (see also France), arguably the first to provide – in Le Roman de l'avenir ["The Novel of the Future"] (1834) – an aesthetics of sf which incorporated the future as a platform and arena. Science Fiction Before 1900: Imagination Discovers Technology (1994) is a competent study of exemplary texts, though somewhat shackled by its publisher's needs to appeal to a student readership. Winston Churchill's Imagination (2006) examines Churchill's sf stories. [PN/JC]

Paul Kent Alkon

born Rockingham, New Hampshire: 1 May 1935

died 13 January 2020


works as editor


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