‘The myth of progress: 2001: A Space Odyssey’

Poole, Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9613-6401 (2018) ‘The myth of progress: 2001: A Space Odyssey’. In: Limiting Outer Space: Astroculture After Apollo. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN Hbk: 978-1-137-36915-4; eBook: 978-1-137-36916-1

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Official URL: http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137369154


This essays traces the history of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, from the science fiction short story ‘The Sentinel’, through the novel ‘Journey Beyond the Stars’ to the making of 2001 as a cult film. It grew out of Kubrick’s cold war classic Dr Strangelove and his concern with nuclear war, and dramatized the space program, astrofuturism, and the issue of extra-terrestrial life. It drew on the ideas of human evolution of Louis Leakey, Raymond Dart and Robert Ardrey, particularly Ardrey’s African Genesis and the ‘man the hunter’ and ‘killer ape’ theories. In 2001 Kubrick and Clarke created a ‘myth of progress’ which captured both the optimism of the space age and the dark side of human nature.

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