Friday, June 13, 2008

William Gibson on Dystopia in his Novels

None of us ever live in dystopia. That's an imaginary extreme. They just live in shitty cultures. And these societies [in my books] seem dystopian to middle class white people in North America. They don't seem dystopian if you live in Rio or anywhere in Africa. Most people in Africa would happily immigrate to the Sprawl. I don't think a writer can hit the dystopic key without being misanthropic. I'm actually not misanthropic. I think people are capable of wonderful things. I'm quite fond of them and enjoy their company. I can't do Jonathan Swift. I don't have it in me to do that. I also don't have it in me to say to reader, “This is all real.” I'm enough of a postmodernist that I go in and out of believing in my own narrative. The happy endings, such as they, are are actually a function of that. They're the "that's all folks” at the end, waving the big three-fingered glove. I want to remind people that they're reading a novel about an imaginary future. If I had my way, I'd even be reminding people about the whole culture of reminding people.

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