Must artists suffer? The novelist and poet Thomas Hardy thought so, quipping that “light writes white”. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a narcotised shopping mall, its zombie denizens, blissed into political quiescence.
Deborah Walker (@deboree), a runner-up in our recent short story competition, broadly agrees – but her story, set in a world where pleasure has been harnessed and commodified, is altogether more mischevious. There is no conspiracy here, no attempt to defraud humankind; only a technology that speaks to some very deep, politically uncorrect (and largely male) assumptions about what greatness is, and how it can be achieved.
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