The novels of Janusz A. Zajdel, the key representative of Polish social science fiction, constitute a significant contribution to the dystopian literary tradition, but they remain virtually unknown in anglophone countries, as none of them has been translated into English. Inspired by the political and social realities of the 1970s Polish People's Republic, Zajdel depicts supposedly utopian forms of social organization in which an underground “second life” evolves in response to their totalitarian underpinnings and explores the role solidarity plays in their duplicitous self-representation as well as in their citizens' everyday strategies of resistance, accommodation, and adaptation. Drawing on Sally J. Scholz's differentiation between social, civic, and political solidarity, this article analyzes configurations of its oppressive appropriation and subversive recuperation in Zajdel's three major works: Limes inferior (1982), Wyjście z cienia (1983), and Paradyzja (1984).

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