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Cold War and the Literary Imagination of SF: System Competition and Literature War between the USA and USSR

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2019, 55(), pp.25-53
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2019.55..25
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : May 10, 2019
  • Accepted : June 4, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Choi Jin Seok 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is dedicated to the themes of the “Literature War” during the Cold War between the USA and USSR in 20th century. As we know, these two opposite ideological state systems fiercely competed with each other, to decide which system would achieve superiority in globally. After World War II, the USA and USSR worked to secure rocket scientists who had worked for Nazi Germany, because they wanted to take the initiative in international politics. When the USSR put the artificial satellite “Sputnik” into the space October 4, 1957, it was not surprising that the USA could not repress its astonishment. Americans perceived that Soviet science and technology, was second to America’s until that point in time. After that, the USA and USSR competed on all fronts, including politics, economics, science, military power, and culture. What we call the “Literature War”, is the representative by-product of the Cold War. We can identify indirect traces of system competition, when we read literary works (especially SF) from those days. The Cold War wielded a strong influence over the world situation, so it is very important to identify symptoms of the political (un)conscious in literary works, which claimed to symbolize the pure imagination of humanism. That’s why we have to investigate SF from the period of the Cold War.

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