// Given at WI?02013 on Mar 2, 2013
Some of the most celebrated dystopian novels of the twentieth century toyed with the idea of a post-literary world in which books, and institutions of learning, were censored or outlawed entirely. Perhaps one of the greatest humanitarian achievements of the twentieth century was the explosion in worldwide literacy rates, yet non-literary activities occupy a far greater percentage of our free time. Why should we treat those dystopian novels as more than mere thought experiments? How did literature come to be outlawed in those dystopian worlds? Why is it important that we as individuals and as a culture push back?