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Von der Passer, Arnold

Entry updated 6 February 2021. Tagged: Author.

Pseudonym of German architect and author Franz Ludwig (or Franz-Levy) Hoffmann (1851-1917). His sf novel, Mene Tekel!: Eine Entdeckungsreise nach Europe ["Mene Tekel!: A Journey of Discovery to Europe"] (1893), places a Future History of Europe from 1898 to 2398 within the frame of an expedition (see Fantastic Voyage) undertaken in the latter year by a team of Freilanders anxious to discover what has been happening in the northern world 400 years after the founding of a multiracial Freiland in Kenya, as adumbrated in Theodor Hertzka's Freiland (1890). The capital of Von der Passer's version, the Utopian City of Thomasville, is named after Sir Thomas More. Having been long isolated from Europe, the Freilanders are shocked to discover on landing that Germany has become a Ruined Earth inhabited solely by the wretched. The team then comes across a chronicle which describes the suppression of socialism in the early twentieth century, the subsequent ineradicable imbalance between the rich and the poor caused by uncontrolled capitalism (see Economics; Politics), and the inevitable toppling of civilization. [JC]

Franz Ludwig Hoffmann

born 1851

died 1917

works (selected)


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