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Richter, Eugen

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1838-1906) German politician and author, who opposed nineteenth century German antisemitism with vigour and eloquence, and as a liberal opposed the government of Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). Of sf interest is Sozialdemokratische Zukunftsbilder: frei nach Bebel (1891; trans Henry Wright as Pictures of the Socialistic Future (Freely Adapted from Bebel);vt Pictures of the Future: An Experiment in a Modern Social World and What Came of it 1894), a Near Future Satire depicting the ruinous dissension between Liberals and Socialists (ie Communists) when a state dominated by the latter comes into being: old statues are torn down, new statues of Marx are erected; Utopian planning attempts to control every detail of the lives of citizens; thought control is instituted; a huge police force preserves order on behalf of the rulers. Richter's technique, a reductio ad absurdum of well-intended precepts, creates a text that clearly prefigures the great Dystopias of the twentieth century. [JC]

Eugen Richter

born Dusseldorf, Kingdom of Prussia [now Germany]: 30 July 1838

died Berlin: 10 March 1906

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