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Utopian Visions and Revisions

Or the Uses of Ideal Worlds

by Artur Blaim (Author)
Monographs 285 Pages

Summary

The book focuses on different uses of the concepts of utopia, dystopia, and anti-utopia. The author analyses literature, cinema, and rock music, as well as scientific and legal motifs in utopian fiction. He also considers the functions of Jewish characters in early modern utopias and looks at the utopian aspects of scientific claims of literary and cultural theories. Utopian models are also applied to the practice of literature (socialist realism) and current socio-political affairs. Among the texts and films discussed are "Utopia", "New Atlantis", "Gulliver’s Travels", "Memoirs of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca", "Nineteen Eighty-Four", "A Minor Apocalypse", "Lord of the Flies", and "Even Dwarfs Started Small".

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the authors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Part One: Delimiting the Field
  • 1. Dystopia, Anti-utopia & Co. Another Modest Proposal1
  • 2. “In a smaller figure.” Theses on Synecdoche and Utopia3
  • Part Two: Texts and Contexts (I)
  • 3. The Question-able Case of The Truly Golden Handbook, No Less Beneficial than Entertaining…
  • 4. Thomas More’s Utopia: A Constructivist View
  • 5. Utopia Simplified: Thomas Lupton’s Siuqila15
  • 6. “The Thing which is not.” Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Gulliver’s Travels16
  • 7. Signs. Symptoms. Reality: The Quests for Truth in The Memoirs of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca
  • Part Three: Texts and Contexts (II)
  • 8. Herland/Hisland: A Case of Faulty Intertextuality?
  • 9. Gulliver’s Fifth Voyage, or Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe:Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake
  • Part Four: Themes
  • 10. Magic, Proto-Science and Science in Early Modern Utopian Fiction
  • 11. Utopian Jews: Constructing the Other
  • 12. Cities Are Falling. Images of the End and Their Uses in Dystopian Fiction
  • Part Five:In Other Media
  • 13. In Praise of Imperfection: Shakespeare’s Ambivalent (Anti)Utopianism
  • 14. “As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  • 15. Monstrous Carnival: The Metonymic Dystopias in Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small
  • 16. “Nowhere Plans for Nobody.” Visions of Utopia in Popular Music
  • “Classic” utopias
  • Private micro-utopias
  • “Anti-utopian” utopias
  • Part Six: Utopian Politics: Literary and Otherwise
  • 17. 1934 – The Institution of Utopian Literature
  • 18. Scientific Literary Studies. A Polish Utopian Tale
  • 19. Science against “Science.” The Critical and Utopian Functions of Soviet Semiotics
  • 20. Staging Dystopian Past, Deferring Utopian Future: The Polish Way
  • Post Scriptum (2016)
  • Bibliography
  • Texts
  • Critical Studies
  • Discography
  • Index of Names

Artur Blaim

Utopian Visions and Revisions

Or the Uses of Ideal Worlds

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About the author

Artur Blaim is Professor of English Literature at the University of Gdan´sk. He is the author of “Gazing in Useless Wonder. English Utopian Fiction 1516-1800” (2013) and “Robinson Crusoe and His Doubles” (2016). He has co-edited several volumes on utopian/dystopian fiction and cinema like “Spectres of Utopia. Theory, Practice, Conventions” (2012) and “Mediated Utopias” (2015). His main research interests include utopia/dystopia in literature, film and other media, William Shakespeare, cultural semiotics, and desert island narratives.

About the book

The book focuses on different uses of the concepts of utopia, dystopia, and anti-utopia. The author analyses literature, cinema, and rock music, as well as scientific and legal motifs in utopian fiction. He also considers the functions of Jewish characters in early modern utopias and looks at the utopian aspects of scientific claims of literary and cultural theories. Utopian models are also applied to the practice of literature (socialist realism) and current socio-political affairs. Among the texts and films discussed are “Utopia”, “New Atlantis”, “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Memoirs of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca”, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, “A Minor Apocalypse”, “Lord of the Flies”, and “Even Dwarfs Started Small”.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Contents

Preface

Part One: Delimiting the Field

1. Dystopia, Anti-utopia & Co. Another Modest Proposal

2. “In a smaller figure.” Theses on Synecdoche and Utopia

Part Two: Texts and Contexts (I)

3. The Question-able Case of The Truly Golden Handbook, No Less Beneficial than Entertaining…

4. Thomas More’s Utopia: A Constructivist View

5. Utopia Simplified: Thomas Lupton’s Siuqila

6. “The Thing which is not.” Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Gulliver’s Travels

7. Signs. Symptoms. Reality: The Quests for Truth in The Memoirs of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca

Part Three: Texts and Contexts (II)

8. Herland/Hisland: A Case of Faulty Intertextuality?

9. Gulliver’s Fifth Voyage, or Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

Part Four: Themes

10. Magic, Proto-Science and Science in Early Modern Utopian Fiction

11. Utopian Jews: Constructing the Other

12. Cities Are Falling. Images of the End and Their Uses in Dystopian Fiction←5 | 6→

Part Five: In Other Media

13. In Praise of Imperfection: Shakespeare’s Ambivalent (Anti)Utopianism

14. “As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

15. Monstrous Carnival: The Metonymic Dystopias in Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small

16. “Nowhere Plans for Nobody.” Visions of Utopia in Popular Music

Part Six: Utopian Politics: Literary and Otherwise

17. 1934 – The Institution of Utopian Literature

18. Scientific Literary Studies. A Polish Utopian Tale

19. Science against “Science.” The Critical and Utopian Functions of Soviet Semiotics

20. Staging Dystopian Past, Deferring Utopian Future: The Polish Way

Bibliography

Index of Names

←6 | 7→

Preface

The twenty studies constituting this volume individually and collectively illustrate the practical uses of the concept of utopia ranging from theoretical questions, through analyses of particular texts and common themes, to more general applications in domains bordering on literary and political studies. What joins them together is not only the general label of utopia understood here as “the imaginary reconstitution of society” (Levitas 2013), but also a common method of reflection combining elements of close reading, cultural semiotics, and constructivist approach to the study of literary and cultural phenomena.

Details

Pages
285
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631702185
ISBN (PDF)
9783653070941
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631702192
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631675656
Language
English
Publication date
2016 (December)
Tags
Utopias and dystopias in literature Dystopian films Anti-utopia Rock lyrics Literary and cultural studies Political discourse and practice
Published
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 285 pp.

Biographical notes

Artur Blaim (Author)

Artur Blaim is Professor of English Literature at the University of Gdańsk. He is the author of «Gazing in Useless Wonder. English Utopian Fiction 1516–1800» (2013) and «Robinson Crusoe and His Doubles» (2016). He has co-edited several volumes on utopian/dystopian fiction and cinema like «Spectres of Utopia. Theory, Practice, Conventions» (2012) and «Mediated Utopias» (2015). His main research interests include utopia/dystopia in literature, film and other media, William Shakespeare, cultural semiotics, and desert island narratives.

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