Monday, 11 October 2010

Harrison Bergeron Revisited as Part of National Review Series

The National Review, a conservative news magazine, has revisited Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron”, as part of its series of NROriginals. The Review, which was founded by William F. Buckley Jr, republished Vonnegut’s story in 1965, after it first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, in 1961. In a brief piece for the National Review website, John J. Miller commented that while Vonnegut is perhaps best known as a “left-wing” writer, ““Harrison Bergeron” is one of the most conservative short stories you’ll ever read”.

“Harrison Bergeron”, explores the idea of social equality by proposing a dystopian view of the future in which all those with talents outside of the norm, such as athleticism, intelligence and even gracefulness, have been “handicapped”, or shackled, in order to prevent others from feeling inferior to them. Readers interested in Vonnegut’s tale may wish to read the full text, you can do so on the National Review website. Alternatively, there is also a film adaptation available, entitled 2081, which stars Armie Hammer (of The Social Network) as Harrison Bergeron and features music by the Kronos Quartet. Below, you can find the trailer for 2081:

[Image from The Moderate Voice]

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