Fiction. Essays. California Interest. In 1901, a woman named Carrie, while traveling in Europe, selects four men to seduce her, each with a version of the coming century. At least this is how the legend comes down to us. Inevitably, the future spills off course. We navigate through the suitors' worlds; follow Carrie on her misadventures; discover what she and her lovers forgot to notice. Gradually, we find out that Carrie's life is implicated in her uncle's world of business and political espionage. For over forty years, Harry Brown is hired by oligarchs to erase crimes that might prove embarrassing. A pioneer in how to troll, hack, and manipulate the truth for his clients, Harry often uses American myths of progress and future technologies in the cover-ups. Thus, as he likes to say, fiction is more believable than fact; and espionage is a form of seduction. In 1917, Harry sets up a massive archive of his niece's life and legend. In 2004, the remains of 'Carrie's archive' were unearthed and assembled in Los Angeles.Enhanced by historical essays and an online tale of 2,200 archival images, the novel of THE IMAGINARY 20TH CENTURY is a playful and yet deadly serious meditation on one sentence: the future can only be told in reverse.
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Norman M. Klein is a cultural critic and historian. Much of his work deals with cities, media and political history. He is also known for his comic scholarly fiction. Among his most influential works are The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory; The Vatican to Vegas: The History of Special Effects; Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986 (media novel); Freud in Coney Island and Other Tales; 7 Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon; and THE IMAGINARY 20TH CENTURY (produced as a double object: a media archive and a print novel with essays). He is a professor of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.Margo Bistis is a cultural historian and curator. Her essays on philosophical modernism, caricature and urban culture have appeared in scholarly journals and anthologies. She is co-author of THE IMAGINARY 20TH CENTURY (produced as a double object: a media archive and a print novel with essays). She teaches in the Humanities & Sciences Department at ArtCenter College of Design.Author City: LOS ANGELES, CA USA