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Parry, David MacLean

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1852-1915) US businessman and author whose anti-socialist Dystopia, The Scarlet Empire (1906), is clearly intended to counter Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888). A young socialist American thinks to commit suicide by jumping into the sea, but awakens in a nightmarish Atlantis, a Lost World Keep protected from the ocean above by a great dome, where – despite a healthy plethora of convenient Inventions – the obsession with regimented equality leads to grotesqueries prophetic of those later dreamt of by Yevgeny Zamiatin in My (ms trans Gregory Zilboorg as We 1924). The use of "letheweed" to Drug the citizens nightly also prefigures Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932). The protagonist, cured of socialism, escapes with the young woman he loves, destroying the dome – and hence the entire society – as he departs. [JC]

David Maclean Parry

born Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: 26 March 1852

died Indianapolis, Indiana: 12 May 1915

works

  • The Scarlet Empire (Indianapolis, Indiana: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1906) [illus/hb/Hermann C Wall]

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