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  • Author or Editor: Artur Blaim x
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Gazing in Useless Wonder

English Utopian Fictions, 1516–1800

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Artur Blaim

Gazing in Useless Wonder focuses on utopias as self-referential texts that literally have to constitute themselves as imaginary or intentional entities before they can work as vehicles for socio-political ideas. Foregrounding the construction of utopian fictions defines both the perspective and the differentiation of the analytically significant elements, so that the traditionally dominant topics such as the nature and origins of the ideologies behind the construction of the ideal model are taken into account only insofar as they contribute to the aesthetic effect of the utopian construct as a whole. The organising principle of the early modern utopia involves two different modes of presentation: the narrative frame and the ekphrastic description of the ideal state, each possessing an aesthetic function realised according to different principles, with the ideal image constructed in accordance with the dominant aesthetic norms of the period pertaining to the visual arts, such as harmony, symmetry, alleged perfection, and timelessness. Despite variations, especially in the thematic-ideological domain, the dominant genre pattern that emerged as a result of the simplification of the complex semantics of Thomas More’s Utopia in the early modern period is taken here as forming a single synchrony in the history of utopian fiction-making.
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Robinson Crusoe and His Doubles

The English Robinsonade of the Eighteenth Century

Artur Blaim

The book is a study of the eighteenth-century English robinsonade, also known as desert island or castaway narrative. It discusses the pre-history of the genre, the complex multi-level semantics of «Robinson Crusoe», its role in introducing a new mode of meaning formation combining the conventions of the travel narrative, Providence book, and spiritual autobiography, as well as its functioning as a genre model for later authors. Another important subject is the subsequent process of robinsonade’s simplification by the gradual elimination of religious meanings and foregrounding the exciting adventures of the protagonists, turning it into a genre of children’s literature.

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Utopian Visions and Revisions

Or the Uses of Ideal Worlds

Artur Blaim

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".

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Artur Blaim and Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim

Imperfect Worlds and Dystopian Narratives in Contemporary Cinema is a collection of studies on filmic dystopias: Goto, the Island of Love; Even Dwarfs Started Small; Stalker; Videodrome; Sexmission; Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes; Kingsajz; Equilibrium; V for Vendetta; Children of Men; The Aerial. Employing a variety of theoretical perspectives (from cultural semiotics to post-structuralist approach), the authors analyse films from different cultural, linguistic and political contexts, demonstrating the interplay between the formulaic dystopian facade and narratological inventiveness, heightened intertextuality, and generic hybridity. The contributors also explore the ways in which dystopian cinema adapts the motifs and techniques borrowed from classic literary dystopias.
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Spectres of Utopia

Theory, Practice, Conventions

Edited by Artur Blaim and Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim

Spectres of Utopia. Theory, Practice, Conventions introduces the latest trends in utopian studies, displaying a wide variety of theoretical perspectives as well as social, political, and cultural practices ranging from intentional communities and globalization to literary and cinematic utopias and dystopias. The contributors, who come from different disciplinary backgrounds, attempt to redefine not only the basic concepts of utopia, dystopia, and anti-utopia but also utopian studies as a whole, applying new conceptual and philosophical paradigms in the wake of the downfall of communism and the crisis of the traditional forms of Western democracy.
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Mediated Fictions

Studies in Verbal and Visual Narratives

Edited by Artur Blaim and Ludmiła Gruszewska-Blaim

The Mediated Fiction series aims at providing a forum for studies in English Language and Literatures, but also Comparative Literature, the History of Sciences, and Slavonic Languages and Literatures. The series emphasis is on studies in Verbal and Visual Narratives. The editors, Professor Artur Blaim and Associate Professor Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim, specialize in literary theory, cultural semiotics and fictional worlds in literature and cinema.
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Series:

Edited by Artur Blaim and Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim

The volume comprises adaptation studies of ten selected utopian/dystopian fictions written and filmed in Europe and America during the 20 th and 21 st centuries: Things to Come, Lost Horizon, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Lord of the Flies, The Andromeda Nebula, Brave New World, Total Recall, The Secret Garden, Harrison Bergeron and Never Let Me Go. It focuses not only on the ways of constructing fictional realities and techniques of rendering literary utopias/dystopias into film, but also on their cultural and political determinants.