In a 1905 letter from prison, Alexander Berkman wrote: “None of us are ready for anarchy, though many are for anarchism.” In this letter, Berkman defined anarchism as a philosophy, and anarchy as a social state, the end goal of anarchism.
The next issue of Fifth Estate will explore visions of anarchism and anarchy through fiction. From fictional struggles of anarchists in the past and present to stories of an anarchist future, we will explore the many facets of anarchism as a philosophy, anarchy as a social state, and anything and everything else in between. We will be open to any style of fiction that carries this theme. Be creative. Tell us a good story, but don’t just entertain, inspire us! Challenge us to see anarchism from a new perspective, or in a different light.
Some possible suggestions for story ideas:
- Describe what happens when a non-anarchist finds them self alone in an anarchist society/culture. How do they react? Do they integrate? Do they rebel? What conflicts will they face?
- Create a successful collective and envision the process the collective goes through to welcome a new member. To what end was the collective established? How do they operate? What is their process for bringing in a new member? What interpersonal relationships come into play (friendships, relationships, etc.)?
- Create a piece of alternate history in which a social revolution took place, and present day people live in a state of Anarchy. What is their life like? (ex. Anarchist victory in the Spanish Civil war).
In addition to fiction stories, we will also be open to a few select submissions of literary criticism on anarchist literature and/or literary criticism from an anarchist perspective.
Some topics to explore might include:
- What constitutes anarchist literature?
- What is an anarchist literary aesthetic? Is the term “anarchist literary aesthetic” an oxymoron?
- Analyze a piece of anarchist fiction. What makes it anarchist? It’s subject? It’s theme? It’s style?
- Analyze a piece of literature from an anarchist perspective. How does this perspective affect our appreciation of the piece of literature in question?
Please keep all finished manuscripts to fewer than 2,500 words.
Submit completed manuscripts for fiction, and proposals for criticism to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include Fifth Estate 385 in the subject line, along with the title of your piece.
You may also mail submissions to:
P.O. Box 201016
Ferndale, MI 48220
Publication date: 7/30/2011