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Kallocain (Anglais) Broché – 30 avril 2002


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Book by Boye Karin



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Amazon.com: 9 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hilarious futuristic vision. 8 mai 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book is better than 1984. It has the same twisted description of a possible future as 1984. It is extremely well-written and it is not at all only for people who like novels about the future -- it is just excellent in general. It is scary and absorbing. Late Karin Boye is a marvellous writer, most known for her wonderful poetry, but unfortunately she is now well known outside Sweden. She deserves an international audience for certain.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
dystopia 20 août 1999
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
i wouldn't call it "hilarious", for sure, but i definitely agree that Karin Boye has done us a great service in writing this book. Reminiscent of 1984 and also of Yvgeny Zamyatin's WE, KALLOCAIN is actually more frightening than either of those. The mind of the "collaborator," the willing citizen of a totalitarian state, is laid bare; his rationales and fears are thus universalized, and one sees the tyrant in all of us ...
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Before 1984 21 avril 2006
Par wiredweird - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The Worldstate of Kallocain appeared in print eight years before Orwell's famous story of totalitarian hell. Although weaker in some ways, it has more emotional impact in many others. It's about Kall, a chemist and loyal Fellow-Soldier of The State. His work re-opens earlier, failed studies on "truth serum" drugs. His new compounds eliminate the earlier drugs' toxic effects, the effect that destroyed the minds of so many human guinea pigs from the Voluntary Sacrificial Service. This time, the more merciful drug simply leaves its victims as passive, even cooperative partners in their own violation - the perverted wish of physical and mental rapists everywhere.

Idealist Kall sees only its potential to help the life-giving state against its enemies, at first. Of course, he sees his invention turned to the self-serving power struggles of the party oligarchs. He sees how having that drug's power corrupts its possessor, even seeing that corruption arise in himself. By then, the evil genie is out of the bottle and granting the wishes of the oppressive State.

The end of the book seems to wander. Kall sees the full force of The State's anti-terrorist army directed against a nameless little band of dreamers. He takes part in vaguely horrific trials for capital crimes against The State, with executions handed down apparently on whims and personal grudges. He ends his story with ambiguous dreams, still hoping that his pharmacological creation can live on, and still hoping (against evidence) that it can be used for genuine good.

It's worth reading, though. It captures the fears of its early Soviet and pre-Nazi era, and captures the time's faith (and fear) in the power of science. And it reminds technologists that, although scientific results have no inherent morality, the people who create and use those results do - or should.

--wiredweird
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Inevitable force of life expressed in Boye's Kallocain 31 mars 2002
Par Jacob Wennbom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is probably the best swedish novel ever. It is written in the same style as Orwell's 1984 but where Orwell is purely political, Boye is much more existential. Kallocain is not only a critical reflexion on the totalitarian state but rather an experiment searching to find out if the force of life existing in every man and woman really can be destroyed (which in many ways is the purpose of the state in Kallocain). Perhaps one can only be controlled to a degree. If you squeeze an egg too hard it will burst, and then there is no way you can stop the content from letting go of your hands. It is hardly no coincident that the substans that has given the novel its name is green; the color of life.
I stongly recomend everyone to buy it and read it (over and over again if posible).
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Dystopian Duo 1 février 2012
Par Tiro - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Could this novel really be mentioned in the same sentence with 1984? I was especially skeptical after reading WE -- another precursor and influence, but strangely whimsical and largely impenetrable to this American reader. However, Kallocain deserves consideration alongside 1984, ad indeed they are a duo. On the one hand, much of their inspiration came from Nazi Germany and Stalin and they both portray life in a futuristic, nightmarish, totalitarian state.

But there are major differences as well, such that 1984 and Kallocain are both fresh, unique approaches to a shared interest.

If Orwell tended toward the political and cultural diagnosis of the totalitarian state, Boye focuses on its implications for the human heart, without being sentimental. Orwell's Winston Smith does fall in love, but it is a love affair written up by an Englishman. There is sex and coffee and jam, and that very British mix of deep feeling and tenuous expression. Orwell is strongest elsewhere, in the realm of political theory and the subservience of culture to power. Boye, in contrast, brings her poetic sensibilities to bear on the interior lives of people living in the World State to great effect. Orwell's many contraptions -- Newspeak, the many offices, etc.--are not sources of fascination in Kallocain. This is a book about interior lives.

Another marked difference concerns our protagonists. Orwell's Winston Smith is as heroic a figure as one could hope for in his dystopia. From the beginning, we are sympathetic and rooting for him, knowing full well that he is doomed. And Smith does follow the arc from saved to damned. But Boye's Leo Kall is a faithful cog in the machine, loathsome with, at best, momentary flickers of humanity. Credibly, he changes and follows the arc from damned to ... well, we are left with optimism, but no promise. Kall ends where Smith begins. In this sense, Kallocain is less dark, ending with the message that each reader, has within him or her, the green bit of life that troubles the despot because it makes love possible.

If you liked 1984, you are doing yourself a major disservice by not reading this book. Like 1984, it is a compelling read with forward momentum. And it a cautionary tale that, it seems to me, can never be retold often enough.
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