He is best known for several major works of criticism and literary history devoted to science fiction. After his retirement from McGill inhe has lived in LuccaItaly. Inhe received Croatian SFera Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction. Suvin is a member of the Advisory Board of the left-wing journal Novi Plamen and Croatian science fiction journal Ubiq.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, Science is a way of thinking about reality that takes its objectivity for granted.
Fiction is a way of describing reality that assumes the subjectivity of experience—for every fiction, a different way of seeing things, a different reality. The two words together contradict each other.
A thing cannot be both "science" and "fiction" at the same time, any more than it can be both "reality" and "fiction. But despite numerous attempts to change the name, we do talk about "science fiction.
It is "scientific," but clearly unrealistic.
People who dislike science fiction see it as an unrealistic literature of escape, a shallowminded distraction from the serious consideration of things as they are. Those who like science fiction insist it is really about the world we live in—at most an allegorical representation of reality, at least logical extrapolation based upon and commenting on things as they are.
But good science fiction is neither an escape from reality nor a description of it; and Darko Suvin is wise enough never to forget that.
He sees science fiction as "a developed oxymoron, a realistic irreality," and he presents a definition of it that accounts both for its science and for its fiction. That is not to say that he accounts for these things clearly.
Suvin is two verbose things at the same time—a theoretical literary critic and a Marxist. His vague Marxist jargon takes over when his vague critical jargon gives out, and Metamorphoses of Science Fiction is filled with silly words like "Situationality" and "hermeneutic" and "seriation levels.
But for Suvin the final effect is the same; by Brechtian distancing or by the unfamiliarity of science fictional worlds, we are estranged from our assumptions about reality and forced to question them.
Suvin emphasizes estrangement for two reasons.
The first is political. As a Marxist scholar, Suvin wants to reinvent literary history in Marxist terms—to show how science fiction has actually existed for centuries, but that little is known about it because it has always expressed the aspirations of the masses.
Consequently, it "has been a suppressed and neglected, often materially and most always ideologically persecuted tradition.
I do not find this persuasive. Just because some obscure fellow living in Lower Thuringia in invented a primitive something to hang his trousers on that we can now see to be a precursor of the modern toilet-tissue holder does not make that invention the only important event of ; nor does our You are not currently authenticated.
View freely available titles:Novum (Latin for new thing) is a term used by science fiction scholar Darko Suvin and others to describe the scientifically plausible innovations used by science fiction narratives.
Suvin argues that the genre of Science Fiction is distinguished from Fantasy by the story being driven by a novum validated by logic he calls cognitive estrangement.
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Ships from and sold by PBShop UK.3/5(1). Darko Suvin’s Metamorphoses of Science Fiction defined SF as “a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition.” The consequence was a general neglect of science fiction in other media.
Nearly 45 years ago in December , Darko Suvin published the signal sf studies text, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre.” It was this article that (in)famously introduced “SF as the literature of cognitive estrangement,” and which was later expanded for the equally trailblazing Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the.
Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge (science) and .
Darko Suvin is the author of Metamorphoses of Science Fiction ( avg rating, 80 ratings, 7 reviews, published ), Positions and Presuppositions in 4/5(30).