[{Interview}] [Topics: Existentialism, Philosophy of Art, Utopia, Utilitarianism]

Interview with Nabra Nelson,

A Theatre Professional who Calls Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World a Utopia, Not a Dystopia

 

Introduction:

Brave New World book cover - Nabra Nelson - Aldous Huxley - utopia vs. dystopiaThe philosophical issues raised by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New WorldNabra Nelson - Aldous Huxley - Brave New World - utopia vs. dystopia are myriad, touching on everything from the philosophy of science to metaethics. As it stands, Brave New World is often named one of the three great dystopian novels of the twentieth century, alongside We by Yevgeny ZamyatinNabra Nelson - Aldous Huxley - Brave New World - utopia vs. dystopia and 1984 by George OrwellNabra Nelson - Aldous Huxley - Brave New World - utopia vs. dystopia. The subject of today’s article is an interview with daring young theatre director Nabra Nelson. What interested me in pursuing this interview is that I became aware that Nelson—approaching Brave New World from what in philosophical terms is essentially an existentialist and pragmatic perspective—considers the society in Huxley’s novel to be a utopia rather than a dystopia. So I sat down with Nabra Nelson at the Casa Escobar Inn in Malibu, California to ask her about her peculiar take on this classic novel.

The Interview:

Hello, Nabra. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today. The meat of our discussion is a novel by Aldous Huxley: Brave New World, sometimes called one of the three greatest dystopias of the twentieth century. But as I understand it, you wouldn’t even call it a dystopia. From your perspective, this might stand alongside works in an older genre (begun by Thomas More’s original UtopiaNabra Nelson - Aldous Huxley - Brave New World - utopia vs. dystopia) as a vision of an actual utopian society—regardless of Huxley’s own position. Could you start by talking in general about your experience of reading the novel, and how you came to this conclusion?

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[{Interview}] [Topics: Existentialism, Philosophy of Art, Utopia, Utilitarianism]

Interview with Nabra Nelson,

A Theatre Professional who Calls Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World a Utopia, Not a Dystopia

was last modified: November 11th, 2016 by Daniel Podgorski

[Film: Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985]
1984 with a Sense of Humor:

The Surreal, Wonderful, and Haunting Humor of Terry Gilliam’s Absurdist Masterpiece, Brazil

 

Terry Gilliam Sketch by M.R.P. - Brazil - Tom Stoppard - absurd dystopia satire

Sketch by M.R.P.

The holiday season has come to a close, and everyone is back at the office. What better time to talk about Terry Gilliam’s masterful critique of bureaucracy run amok in his 1985 film BrazilBrazil - Terry Gilliam - Tom Stoppard - absurd dystopia satire? Coincidentally, the satirical events in Brazil take place during the holiday season as well, but the buffoonish consumer society of Brazil‘s universe continue their holiday shopping and eating with bombs going off in the same room.

It is no surprise to me that this movie makes use of tropes from absurdist drama, such as exaggeratedly out-of-order priorities and juxtapositions of high culture and low culture (or refinement and violence), as Terry Gilliam and his erstwhile co-writer Charles McKeown collaborated on Brazil‘s screenplay with renowned absurdist playwright Tom Stoppard (who you may know as the writer of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and co-writer of Shakespeare in LoveBrazil - Terry Gilliam - Tom Stoppard - absurd dystopia satire). Indeed, the entire movie dances with dark comedy as it finds joy in showing us tragic and despicable horrors, and I find joy right along with it.

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[Film: Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985]
1984 with a Sense of Humor:

The Surreal, Wonderful, and Haunting Humor of Terry Gilliam’s Absurdist Masterpiece, Brazil

was last modified: May 8th, 2016 by Daniel Podgorski