The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre by Phillip E. WegnerThe Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre by Phillip E. Wegner

The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre

byPhillip E. Wegner

Paperback | March 26, 2013

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Upon its original publication in 1970, Robert C. Elliott’s The Shape of Utopia influenced both some of the major scholars of an emerging utopian and science fiction studies, including Darko Suvin, Louis Marin and Fredric Jameson, and authors of new utopian fiction ranging from Ursula K. Le Guin to Kim Stanley Robinson. The book establishes a deep genetic link between utopia and satire, and offers scintillating readings of classic works by Thomas More, Jonathan Swift, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Aldous Huxley and others. It charts the rise of an insidious «fear of utopia» that comes to characterize the first half of the twentieth century and investigates some of the aesthetic problems raised by the efforts to portray a utopian society, before concluding with brilliant speculations on the emerging practice of «anti-anti-utopia» – the reinvention of utopia for contemporary times. This Ralahine Classics edition also includes a new introduction by Phillip E. Wegner which situates the book in its context and argues for its continued significance today; a 1971 review of the book by the late author of utopian science fiction, Joanna Russ; and an opening tribute by one of Elliott’s former students, Kim Stanley Robinson.
Robert C. Elliott (1914-1981) was a Professor of English Literature and one of the founders of the Literature Department at the University of California, San Diego. He received his PhD from Brown University, and taught at Ohio State University from 1946-1964. He was also the author of The Power of Satire: Magic, Ritual, Art (1960) and ...
Title:The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary GenreFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.86 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:March 26, 2013Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3034307721

ISBN - 13:9783034307727


Table of Contents

Contents: Saturnalia, Satire, & Utopia – The Shape of Utopia – Swift’s Utopias – Hawthorne and Utopia: The Blithedale Romance – The Fear of Utopia – Aesthetics of Utopia – Anti-Anti-Utopia: Walden Two and Island.

Editorial Reviews

«In 1970, Robert C. Elliott wrote, ‘the theme of utopia no longer engages the imagination. … Utopia is a bad word today not because we despair of being able to achieve it but because we fear it.’ His groundbreaking study, ‘The Shape of Utopia’, confronted this fear of utopia eloquently. A still challenging and important study of the formalistic, literary and anthropological aspects of utopia, it has now been reissued with a thoughtful Introduction by Phillip E. Wegner and a wonderful tribute by Kim Stanley Robinson. Elliott influenced scholars and thinkers such as Darko Suvin, Fredric Jameson, Louis Marin and Tom Moylan and it is timely to confront our fear of utopia again under the guidance of Elliott.» (Nicole Pohl, Reader in the Department of English Literature and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes University and General Editor of ‘Utopian Studies’) «The originality of Elliott’s book on Utopia lay not only in its unsurpassed generic placement of such texts (their structural opposition to the satiric curse), but also in situating the fear of Utopias at the center of analysis, along with the centrality of Utopian aesthetics. Future Utopias will raise new problems and develop new answers, but they will always contain within themselves the origins Elliott so ably dramatizes here.» (Fredric Jameson, Professor in the Program in Literature at Duke University, author of ‘Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions,’ 2005, and, most recently, ‘Representing Capital’, 2011).