Steampunk & history

Steampunk is the imagined futurology of the past. As such, at its best it invites a critical approach to the real past and its unrealized potentialities. Steampunk is a product of our time, and thus a comparison with the imaginative universe of the real 19th century, and the imagined worlds at various points in the 20th century, is warranted.  There remains the question of what we are imagining now about our future, and what is actually in the cards for the 21st century.  For all we know, we are winding up our assessment of our entire human history and our species will not survive this century.

Esperanto literature has its own history of utopian and futuristic visions. You can find several of them, spanning the 20th century up to the 1970s, in William Auld's 1981 survey of original novels in Esperanto, Vereco, Distro, Stilo: Romanoj en Esperanto [Veracity, Amusement, Style: Novels in Esperanto]. Esperanto fiction exploded in the 1970s and afterward, so this survey is seriously incomplete. None of the other authors cited in Auld's book can compare to the historical importance of the work of Hungarian Esperantist author Sándor Szathmári.

But as Esperanto evolves with the times, Steampunk appears in Esperanto literature as Esperanto appears in the literature of Steampunk and alternate history.

But now here are some interesting links to viewpoints (in English) on Steampunk and historical perspective:

Cultural Historian, James Carrott Part 1 – Steampunk | The Tomorrow Project

Cultural Historian, James Carrott Part 2 – Steampunk | The Tomorrow Project

CultHistorian (blog by James H. Carrott)

Trial by Steam (history of Steampunk)

Steampunk and History (GD Falksen)

The Importance Of The Responsible Use Of History In Fiction, June 27, 2012 by bryantschmidt

Steampunk is also a commodity of late capitalism. Thanks to this workshop, you too can learn to configure your imaginary world:

Tweaking History: Steampunk And Other Tales Of Alternate History

And the ideological and institutional place of Steampunk in today's real society is intriguingly, and perhaps ambiguously, presented to us here:

“Can Steampunk Look Towards the Future?” Vintage Tomorrows Screening Report by Ay-leen the Peacemaker

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