The story 4338 AD by Vladimir Fedorovich Odoesvsky Essay

The story 4338 AD by Vladimir Fedorovich Odoesvsky Essay

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The story “4338 AD”, also called “The Year 4338 (The Petersburg Letters)”, by Vladimir Fedorovich Odoevsky provides literary evidence of authors rejecting the philosophies of the Romantic movement in favor of continuing to support the ideals of the Scientific Revolution. Though never finished, fragments of the story were published on three separate occasions; one fragment in 1835, another in 1840, and the most complete version in 1926 (Lin). The tale takes place, in the title's namesake, in the year 4338. The utopian tale follows the letters written by a somnambulist (someone who sleepwalks or in this case puts themselves into a deep trance) who claims to have the ability to time travel and become someone else, in this incident, a Chinese student named Hippolytus Tsungiev. Tsungiev writes letters to his friend in Peking, China while visiting Petersburg, Russia. In 1835 many astronomers believed that Halley's Comet would make direct contact with the Earth in the year 4339, so Odoevsky centered this tale the year before the predicted demise of the human race (Odoevsky). In the science fiction story “4338 AD”, Vladimir Odoevsky embraces and defends the cultural ideals of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment against the Romantic Movement in an entertaining literary fashion that should conclude our study of the transition from the Enlightenment into the Romantic period of world science fiction.

Odoevsky yearned to know the reaction of societies in the future, given the emergence of the Scientific Revolution and the now defunct news of a comet projected to collide with the earth. The author entertains his readers throughout the story using the tools of science fiction, as well as extrapolating the progress made through ...


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...h the works of Odoevsky believe that “4338 AD”, though the only portion written, was originally intended as the third and final installment of a trilogy (Lin). Odoevsky clearly implies that the ideals becoming popular with the Romantic Movement undermine the progress made during the Enlightenment. This utopian tale was imaginative and entertaining, as well as containing all of the ingredients for a study of the rejection or lack of acceptance of the Romantic Era’s philosophies by supporters of the Scientific Revolution.


Works Cited

Lin, Tony H. "Beyond Science Fiction: Vladimir Odoevsky’s The Year of 4338 as a hybrid text." Science Direct. Academia, 2013. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.

Odoevsky, Vladimir F. "The Year 4338 (translation from Russian)." Feel Do Think The Year 4338 Translation from Russian Comments. Russian Federation, 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.


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