No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

Synopsis

Writers have created fictions of social perfection at least since Plato's Republic. Sir Thomas More gave this thread of intellectual history a name when he called his contribution to it Utopia, Greek for no place.

With each subsequent author cognizant of his predecessors and subject to altered real-world conditions which suggest ever-new causes for hope and alarm, "no place" changed. The fourteen essays presented in this book critically assess man's fascination with and seeking for "no place."

"In discussing these central fictions, the contributors see no place' from diverse perspectives: the sociological, the psychological, the political, the aesthetic. In revealing the roots of these works, the contributors cast back along the whole length of utopian thought. Each essay stands alone; together, the essays make clear what no place' means today. While it may be true that no place' has always seemed elsewhere or elsewhen, in fact all utopian fiction whirls contemporary actors through a costume dance no place else but here."- from the Preface

The contributors are Eric S. Rabkin, B. G. Knepper, Thomas J. Remington, Gorman Beauchamp, William Matter, Ken Davis, Kenneth M. Roemer, William Steinhoff, Howard Segal, Jack Zipes, Kathleen Woodward, Merritt Abrash, and James W. Bittner.

Excerpt

Humankind has created fictions of social perfection at least since Plato Republic. Sir Thomas More gave this thread of intellectual history a name when he called his contribution to it Utopia, Greek for no place. As time drew out this thread, no place changed, each later writer aware of the work of his predecessors, changing real world conditions suggesting ever new causes for hope and alarm. This volume begins with an introductory essay that tries to discern the common urge toward no place. The subsequent essays each focus on a different and significant work from the last hundred years along the thread. In discussing these central fictions, the contributors see no place from diverse perspectives: the sociological, the psychological, the political, the aesthetic. In revealing the roots of these works, the contributors cast back along the whole length of utopian thought. Each essay can stand alone; together, the essays make clear what no place means today. While it may be true that no place has always seemed elsewhere or elsewhen, in fact all utopian fiction whirls contemporary actors through a costume dance no place else but here.

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