Terá contribuído também, sem dúvida, a visão do pragmatismo individualista do homem competente numa mágica terra de oportunidades, na qual não existiam ditadores, opressão política, repressão policial, uma terra de fronteira de controlo reduzido pelas forças da autoridade onde uma pessoa valia pelas suas capacidades. Esta terra prometida, mais relacionada com a imagem que a América fazia de si mesma do que a América que efectivamente era (e que se viu incapaz de continuar a ignorar os problemas internos aquando dos movimentos sociais dos anos 60), cairia como maná dos céus sobre os outros povos do planeta - em particular, sobre países que eram forçados a existir debaixo do jugo de botas políticas e onde se ia desculpando a existência a literatura fantástica como uma forma inócua de descompressão das massas. Não se admire, portanto, que este sonho de fugir dos problemas mesquinhos do planeta, esta necessidade premente de se abandonar o lar problemático e encontrar uma nova história de vida num lugar do universo em que tal seja efectivamente possível, tivesse um forte apelo. Tal é a necessidade da juventude, tal é a necessidade do oprimido, tal é a necessidade de quem, na meia-idade, se debate com a angústia de ter comprometido os sonhos ao ter tomado as escolhas mais razoáveis para a sua vida.Silva is here discussing differences between American perceptions (and how they shape SF) and those of several other countries. There exists in the United States the vision of the pragmatic, competent individual living in the magical land of opportunities, where dictators, oppressive politics, political repression do not exist. It is a frontier land where the people are freer and are more able to work to their capacities with a reduced control by authoritarian forces. It is related to an imagined America, idealized rather than strictly based on that land's real political and social histories. This exists in opposition to the sometimes-harsh realities of what so many other countries have experienced, several of them for thousands of years.
This point Silva raises in passing (before moving on to examine the futility of claiming a truly "international" SF) is a key one. What conditions give rise to what might be accepted as being "SF?" Is it arising from a successful resistance to authoritarian control, or is it something else? Indubitably, there is a libertarian strain of SF, particularly that produced in North America but occurring with less frequency elsewhere, that plays up the conflict between Freedom and Authority. But do elements such as this occur frequently outside the Anglophone publishing world, or is this a more universal issue?
Without taking a side on this (lest I show a profound ignorance that would be borne of my inability to read stories in dozens of languages), a larger issue might be emerging from such a question. If there are "universal" themes to SF writing across the globe, then do such themes arise due to pan-cultural concerns revolving around that nebulous "human identity," or is this an issue that is much more shallow and which might be associated with perceptions of a need to adopt the language and narrative modes of the perceived dominant culture?
Furthermore, if one were to argue that SF narrative modes are not necessarily "universal," but which might be more of a response to a dominant source, then would the perceived recent rise of international SF (with its relatively limited number of themes, ways of telling a story, plot developments, etc.) be little more than faint xeroxed copies of models that originated in an idealized "American" world-view? Or is there still more to this than what has been talked about before?
I am uncertain where I stand on this. I know there are several great authors writing in various parts of the world. Some I have read in their native Spanish, Portuguese, French, and (with assistance of dictionaries and translated editions) Serbian. Several of those authors have told their stories in ways that are truer to their native cultures than to any perceived Anglo-American "SF model." Others seem to have mimicked the forms of Anglo-American stories in order to warp them slightly. Still others have written stories that are hard to differentiate from stories originally published in Anglo-American markets. I don't know if there is a single "correct" answer to any of those questions. Perhaps it is simply a sign of the immaturity of "international SF" that there aren't any dominant forms that differ from those of Anglo-American or local cultural regions. Perhaps the forest is being missed for all the trees. Perhaps...I should just leave this dangling, letting the readers decide for themselves if they want to delve into this matter.