9781441195258

Utopia and Its Discontents From Plato to the Postmodern

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781441195258

  • ISBN10:

    1441195254

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-07-13
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Summary

Utopia and its Discontents traces literary representations of ideal communities from Plato to the 21st century. Each chapter offers close readings of key utopian and anti-utopian texts to demonstrate how they construct, challenge and explore the ideas and forms of earlier utopian writings and the social and political ideals of their own periods. The book explores how literary utopias are often as much about the past as they are about the present and the future.

Utopia and Its Discontents covers such topics as:

- Early political and philosophical writers, such as Aristotle and Thomas More
- Literary works, from Voltaire's Candide to George Orwell's 1984
- Science fiction writers such as H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley and Brian Aldiss
- Ecological and feminist texts by Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood
- Utopian cinema, from Fritz Lang's Metropolis to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

With annotated chapter-by-chapter guides to further reading, this is an essential study for students and scholars of utopian literature.

Author Biography

Sebastian Mitchell is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at University of Birmingham, UK. His publications include Union and Identity: Anglo-Scottish Writing and Representation, 1730-1830 (2012).

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Republic
2. Utopia and Meta-Utopia
3. Happiness and Optimism
4. Back to the Future
5. English Triptych
6. Ecology and Feminism in the 1970s
7. New Millennium
8. Utopian Cinema
Conclusion
Chapter-by-chapter guide to key works and further reading
Bibliography
Index

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