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Utopia

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ConorOberstIsGo
1413158.  Thu Jun 16, 2022 4:43 am Reply with quote

Utopian Studies is a Masters Of Research available at several UK Universities such as Plymouth, where the field of Utopian Studies is articulated in three aspects:

a. early modern literatures (eg Thomas More’s Utopia)
b. 20th-century utopian theory (eg the Frankfurt School)
c. contemporary practical utopias (eg intentional communities and eco-villages)

Many of the things we have today were pioneered in utopian experiments; the Victorian/modern classroom format was created by Tommaso Campanella, and the welfare system was just Beveridge's refinement of many social experiments. Most British Prime Ministers - up until Churchill - spent time in a social experimental community around the time of their higher education. The influence of utopias is put in a more compelling and concise way at the start of Chris Coates' Utopia Britannica

Utopia Britannica: v. 1: British Utopian Experiments: 1325-1945 by Chris Coates


Thomas More's Utopia could potentially be the earliest Western novel though it was probably only distributed to an audience of a dozen people, all of who would have to understand ancient Greek and Latin to get the full experience: The name Utopia could be translated as 'good/true place' and also 'no place'.

 
crissdee
1413184.  Thu Jun 16, 2022 11:37 am Reply with quote

I can't say I studied it in any great depth, but I did take part in a seminar presentation at university, discussing utopias and dystopias. My own contribution was titled "Utopian Dystopias and Dystopian Utopias", just to spark discussion/muddy the waters......

 
Alexander Howard
1413496.  Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:35 am Reply with quote

'Utopia' does not, etymologically mean 'a good world' but 'nowhere'. It was Thomas More's invention, describing his ideal society as in a land called 'Nowhere'. In a similar way, Samuel Butler called his fictional land 'Erewhon'.

As More's 'Utopia' was to be a strictly regulated society barely above slavery (and with actual slavery practised) it is not the best model for an idyll.

Margaret Cavendish wrote another 'utopian' fiction (The Blazing World) but which was largely satirical of the philosophers an speculators of her age, with whom she was familiar and sometimes on terms of friendship: in the end her Empress calls the whole thing off as having caused more trouble than it solved. When she describes her actual idyll, it is England.

I do not know of an etymologically sound word for an idealised world. Maybe adding an 'e': 'eutopia'.

For the opposite, Anthony Burgess, in '1985', uses the word 'cacotopia', as a better word than 'dystopia' as we use now - κακος being the opposite of ευ.

 
ConorOberstIsGo
1413498.  Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:49 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:

I do not know of an etymologically sound word for an idealised world. Maybe adding an 'e': 'eutopia'.


Apologies, when I say Utopia could be 'translated' as 'good place' I should have written 'read'. It could be read aloud as Eutopia and that was certainly how the pun was supposed to work, at least according to the preface in

Three Early Modern Utopias Thomas More: Utopia / Francis Bacon: New Atlantis / Henry Neville: The Isle of Pines (Oxford World's Classics)

PS Henry Neville's The Isle of Pines was also supposed to be a pun on 'penis'. You've got to remember that they didn't have Pokémon Go hundreds of years back so restoration comedy and penis puns were considered hilarious.

 
crissdee
1413509.  Tue Jun 21, 2022 11:52 am Reply with quote

News from Nowhere by William Morris was quite good, a man travels to the future and finds parliament disbanded and the Houses of Parliament repurposed as a manure store.....

 
suze
1413511.  Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:02 pm Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
cacotopia


That is a much better word than dystopia, and I am determined to get it into more common use!

 
PDR
1413512.  Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:04 pm Reply with quote

I'm sure there was a film about it - isn't Cacotopia somewhere east of Java?

PDR

 

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