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Odoevsky's Four Pathways into Modern FictionA Comparative Study$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082092

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082092.001.0001

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Starman: the rise of the ‘cosmic traveller’

Starman: the rise of the ‘cosmic traveller’

(p.37) 2 Starman: the rise of the ‘cosmic traveller’
Odoevsky's Four Pathways into Modern Fiction

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the motif of round-the-world flight, and the impact on surrounding society of the quirks of a single life, in Odoevsky's tale The Live Corpse. It is seen to be developed into what purports to be interplanetary flight. The chapter also examines the rise and fall of a civilisation, in Dostoevsky's late story The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. Particulars of such supposed cosmic travel may have been, in part at least, ‘borrowed’ by his successors from Dostoevsky. However this may be, such things are seen to be taken very much further, in twentieth-century English horror and science fiction writing, in key works by William Hope Hodgson and Olaf Stapledon.

Keywords:   Odoevsky, The Live Corpse, interplanetary flight, science fiction, William Hope Hodgson

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