Modernism and Exile: Liminality and the Utopian Imagination

Hardcover | November 4, 2014

byMihai Spariosu

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This book explores exile and utopia as correlated phenomena in Western culture, arguing that they have engendered the exilic-utopian imagination as one of the major components of the modern, power-oriented mentality. Spariosu argues that utopian projects, whether religious or socio-political, virtual or actual, are often generated by an exilic consciousness that attempts to compensate for its groundlessness, which it perceives negatively, as ontological lack or emptiness. The author supports his argument with a wealth of examples, ranging from the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Old Testament, Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus and Plato's dialogues in Antiquity to 20th century literary masterpieces produced at the height of European Modernism, including Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Thomas Mann's Joseph and his Brothers, and Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.

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This book explores exile and utopia as correlated phenomena in Western culture, arguing that they have engendered the exilic-utopian imagination as one of the major components of the modern, power-oriented mentality. Spariosu argues that utopian projects, whether religious or socio-political, virtual or actual, are often generated by a...

Mihai I. Spariosu is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia, Athens, in the USA. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, USA, and has taught at several prominent universities around the world. He is the founder of a new field of study and practice, Intercultural Knowledge Management, which he proposed and dev...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.1 × 5.33 × 0.74 inPublished:November 4, 2014Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230231411

ISBN - 13:9780230231412

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Table of Contents

PART I: EXILE, UTOPIA AND MODERNITY: A CULTURAL-THEORETICAL APPROACH
1. Modernity and Modernism: Preliminary Theoretical Considerations
2. Play and Liminality in Modernist Cultural Theory
3. Exile and Utopia as Playful Liminality
PART II: HISTORICAL EXCURSUS: MODERNITY AND THE EXILIC-UTOPIAN IMAGINATION IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
4. The Birth of Modernity: The Exilic-Utopian Imagination in Ancient Near-Eastern Narratives (The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Pentateuch)
5. Modern Consciousness and the Exilic-Utopian Imagination in the Hellenic World: Sophocles and Plato
PART III: EXILE, UTOPIA AND MODERNISM IN LITERARY DISCOURSE
6. The Exilic-Utopian Imagination in Modernism and Postmodernism
7. Exile, Utopia, and the Will to Empire: Conrad's Heart of Darkness
8. Utopia, Totalitarianism, and the Will to Reason: Koestler's Darkness at Noon
9. Exile, Dystopia and the Will to Order: Huxley's Brave New World
10. Exile, Theotopia and Atopia: Mann's Joseph and his Brothers and Bulgakov's Master and Margarita
Afterword: The End of Exile: Toward A Global Eutopia

Editorial Reviews

"…quite brilliant both in content and in style, which is crisp, confident, and perspicuous. It says a whole lot about modernism and says it in an interesting way." - Hayden White, Professor of History and Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, and author of Metahistory