Laura Giovanelli

Predicting the ‘New Normal’: Teleconnection and the Regime of Social Distancing in E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops"

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: techno-dystopia, human community, pandemic, isolation

This paper investigates E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stopsµ (1909) in connection with the symptomatic ways this visionary dystopian tale is being re-read in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Forster depicts a futuristic world-state where each citizen is confined to an underground cell and is only allowed to (tele)communicate through an advanced-technology network, with a deified Machine operating like a centralised computer system and service provider. Moreover, people are required to comply with drastic measures of social distancing in a seemingly prolonged state of health emergency. Such a portrayal of an eerily possible world cannot but raise crucial issues within our ‘new normalcy’ scenario.

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