Tempest, Flute, and Oz: Essays on the Future

Frederick Turner, Author Persea Books $19.95 (161p) ISBN 978-0-89255-159-0
In the title essay, the most impressive piece in this uneven collection, Turner argues that Shakespeare's Tempest, Mozart's Magic Flute and the movie The Wizard of Oz all embody a myth of a humanity that has finally grown up, less prone to illusion and infantile dependence. The other five selections (which appeared in Harpers , etc.) range from the ``new physics'' to a meditation on angels, from an analysis of the ``cultural solvents'' of television, multinational corporations and pop music to a projection of a future world economy of ritualized obligation and gift-giving. Turner ( Shakespeare and the Nature of Time ) gauges various yardsticks of value--moral, aesthetic, economic--and finds all value systems wanting. He envisions the artificial intelligence of tomorrow as ``a deep cultural and artistic project,'' and calls for the creation of an earth-like eco-system on Mars, a program that he rashly claims will ``give us the knowledge we will need to save our own planet.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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