For its 3rd edition, the Quebec festival spelled launches its activities – shows, animations, seminars, readings, youth activities – under the auspices of Isaac Asimov. The author of the cycles Foundation and robots has been with Robert Heinlein and Arthur c. Clarke, of those who started at the end of the 1940s, with the dazzling quality of the rockets, the age of Crystal of science fiction. Zoom, 50 years after his death, on an inventor’s future.
He has known start, take-off of a rocket man that will eventually leave a longer path than a comet. Isaac Asimov, went from the Russia to the United States at the age of three years, feeds from boyhood to the breasts of the pulp fiction and science fiction fanzines. Very young, he begins to write: he published at age 19, and began to be recognized at the outset of the twenty. Obsessive, it will stop most, therefore, of scribouiller, almost at the speed of light.
“I think this is the most prolific writer of the story, indicates GB literary Adviser to this edition of Québec in all letters, Jean-François Chassay. In his biography, Asimov has 468 books. It is almost a book a month. Some of his biographers appoint more than 500. Asimov said already that it was a club of the book alone! »
Most prolific, much more than the hypergraphics and logorrheens Georges Simenon and San Antonio? Yes. More than the kitschiko-harlequinienne Barbara Cartland, who boasted in 1983 only to have signed 23 novels? Maybe not. One thing is certain, “what is striking in Asimov is the wide variety of his publications.”. These writers that have written in one or two types. Asimov, known for his work in science fiction, but it laid books of history, great works of popular science, critical of the works of Shakespeare editions, Jonathan Swift and the Bible – it was totally atheist but is interested as a literary text-, and even the books of jokes. »
When arrive to Asimov Fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, h. g. Wells and Jules Verne already scratched the genre for a long time. Some date back genealogy sci – fi up to the true history of Lucian, travel in space written in the 2nd century, which would have later inspired a certain Cyrano de Bergerac. But institutional and literary phenomenon, as in the 1940s, and the United States, that takes off the science fiction more strongly. Isaac Asimov greatly contributed, by the amount of his writings, by promoting it was science fiction and younger authors, not hesitating to highlight them in anthologies. We Are The Robots
“The quality that can be given to the best books by Asimov, continues Jean-François Chassay, and there are many despite its very uneven production and some texts written very quickly, it’s a kind of transparency.” A narrative which reads, as they say, like a novel. He forged a very popular literature, in the best sense of the term. It will be known almost everywhere in Western countries and it will be a huge success in the Japan. »
Two elements emerge from his work, according to the Professor of literary studies at UQAM. First, the imagination of the robot. It is Asimov who will invent the word “Robotics”, now screwed into the vocabulary of. «He notes that the border between the robot and the human is not always easy to detect, and announcement thus a reflection very present in the imaginary and contemporary fiction, around cyborgs, genetic limitations, posthumans, transhumans, definitions of nature and culture.»
A reflection on history then characterizes Asimov thought, particularly around the cycle Foundation. ‘Asimov sign lots of books on the great civilizations, Rome, Greece, Napoleon’. Foundation proposes a reflection on the history of the future. How can we objectify the story and escape the relativism? ask for these books, and how to locate the personal subjectivity within historical currents? In the spirit, I dare say he joined and Announces authors such as Salman Rushdie or Carlos Fuentes, who will put in crisis and deconstruct history by a subjective point of view. In this sense, Asimov does not at all that of space-opera or of pulp fiction with extraterrestrials who land… “Stationary traveller
Asimov character seems itself catapulted off-space: claustrophile, obsessed with writing, it is “a be pathological.” He read his autobiography, says Chassay, to see his egocentricity and his sense of humor, which makes it able to laugh at himself. He is almost never out of his Manhattan apartment, he who wrote sagas which took place throughout the universe. To my knowledge, he never took the aircraft. “Asimov will cease completely science fiction, from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. Offset spaciotemporel? Pride? This time, said the Professor, corresponds roughly to the New Wave of science fiction in England, represented by authors such as James Brunner. A movement that seeks the complexification of the invented universe, among others through the language, “very different from what Asimov does. One small step for the sci fi
Grab the artwork, as impressive as an alien monolith come to an another brain of the sci – fi, Jean-François Chassay suggests cycles Foundation and robots, but also the caves of steel, “which combines the Sci-Fi and the detective novel, as an investigation in the future. For thought, “harvest of intelligence, especially in English, because the translation contains only a portion of the text of the original version.” There are tests that account for Asimov, his sense of critical scholarship, of humor and controversy. There are tackles pseudoscience, to creationism, anti-intellectualism. »