Prendick’s room and Moureau’s lab. The lab, which should be the core of the human pole, appears as a space for torture and suffering, becoming a place for bestiality set in the heart of science. However, the reeky and overcrowded crevices where the beastmen live, described as a “strange street” (Wells 1896, 104), are what anticipates the typical urban scenario for dystopian fiction. Classical dystopia abandons the island model suggested by Wells and proposes a unique world, which has dissolved its spatial borders (for instance, through the great world blocks of Nineteen Eighty-Four) but also its temporal frames (through the rewriting or suppressing of the past). In Brave New World, extreme specialization keeps everyone ignorant, whereas in Fahrenheit 451imagination is systematically hounded, which makes any evasion to another world impossible. Somehow, this figuration of a unique world without an alternative is but a refiguration of the utopian insularity, with the difference that dystopian spaces cannot be seen as unreachable sanctuaries, but as inviolable prisons. In this sense, classical dystopia presents a perverse spatial model, inheriting the urban and demographic transformations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through what Italo Calvino (1972) names “continuous cities”: an almost infinite extension of urban landscape, in which subjects cannot orient themselves. We could thus say that, while the utopian model is defined by its isolation and grows sheltered from the border, dystopia is constituted by the absence of external borders. The escape of Montag, the main character in Fahrenheit 451, is the only case among those I analyzed in which a character reaches the threshold of the dystopian society and enters into an alternative world. In all others, fleeing attempts not only fail (John’s bid to become a hermit in Brave New World, or Wilson’s attempt to join a resistance movement in Nineteen Eighty-Four, but also in the inability to leave the skyscraper in High-Rise), but prevent us from even glimpsing the existence of a threshold. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood offers us one of the most synthetic portraits of this chronotope: “This is the heart of Gilead, where the war cannot intrude except on television. Where the edges are we aren’t sure, they vary, according to the attacks and counterattacks; but this is the center, where nothing moves. The Republic of Gilead, said Aunt Lydia, knows no bounds. Gilead is within you” (Atwood, 1985: 31).
VILLANUEVA MIR 46 The chronotope of the maze is not only to be found in classical dystopias, where it is related to the idea of an impenetrable state typical of the Cold War but also in dystopias about social collapse: The Walking Deadlays out a labyrinthine world as well, from which no escape is possible. But the absence of boundaries does not place the border outside of the dystopian genre; we can rather observe the opposite phenomenon. The predominant logic in dystopian fiction is the logic of the border, understood as a space of exception and lack of rights. From