Reviews: Katharine Burdekin
bibliographical & biographical information:
the Unofficial Katharine Burdekin Page
- Swastika Night (1937; 1985) as Murray Constantine.
(London: Victor Gollancz, 1937; Old Westbury NY: The Feminist
- Shortlisted for Retrospective Tiptree Award.
Swastika Night is one of the many anti-fascist dystopias
written in the 1930s and 1940s (see, e.g., Zamyatin's We and Karin
Boyle's Kallocaine). However, Burdekin includes a feminist analysis
of fascism, and extrapolates Nazi sexism to its logical extremes: women as
brutes, capable only of breeding. Considered to be a forerunner to
Nineteen Eighty-Four (Patai), Swastika Night is a very
powerful feminist dystopia.
--lq, 7/29/95; rev. 6/5/96.
- The End of This Day's Business (1935; 1989)
(written 1935; not published until 1989 [?verify?] by The Feminist
Press at the City University of New York)
- The End of This Day's Business is a role-reversal
society set 4000 years in the future. Women are the "superior sex"; men
are fitted only for non-intellectual, physical work. One woman breaks
tradition and teaches her son human history, which works with
revolutionary factors in the society. The 1989 Feminist Press edition also
includes a scholarly Afterword by Daphne Patai full of good information
about Burdekin's philosophy (feminist, anti-fascist). -- lq
- Proud Man (1934; 1993)
- A human from the future visits 1930s England; humans in the
future have evolved "beyond" humanity, and beyond humanity's bi-sexed
nature; each individual can reproduce on their own, and is whole,
containing both male and female attributes. This human contemplates with
amazement the various social oddities of modern English society. For a
similar narrative / satirical device ["visitors from elsewhere contemplate
fucked-up human society & fucked-up gender relations"] see Louky
Bersianik's L'Euguelionne. -- lq, 6/14/2002
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