ARTICOLI / 10 / Francesco Muzzioli /
The genre of dystopia, now by far inflated by mass imagination, become almost the realism of our times. This essay investigates how dystopia is combined with the irony. Irony opposes the questioning to the false heroism of supermen until it corrodes the subject itself in self-ironic form. Through irony dystopia is entirely reversed: it is no longer a universal danger, foiled at the last minute by the saviours of mankind (according to the Hollywood model). While irony doubts that humans pay attention to the warnings of the catastrophic prediction and even it insinuates the suspicion that they deserve it, it points out that although it is not enough to delay the disaster, a radical change in attitude is nonetheless needed. To test this hypothesis, the paper analyses two classic texts of science-fiction, both set on Mars: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (1950) and The Martian Time-Slip by Philip Dick (1964). In the first, the colonization of the red planet, which causes the dissolution of the native populations and with the loss of their diversity, ends with the self-destruction of the Earth, leaving a scarce group of earthling refugees to be the Martians. In the second text as well the technological presumption of Terrestrials transferred to Mars will miss its goal and their cynical boss will be defeated because of a wrong calculation of time slips. Here too, the positive fate smiles on the marginalized and the sensitives. This essay tends to show that irony and its paradoxical inventions also increase the stylistic and literary tone of the texts, in contrast to the flatness and banality of consumer dystopia.