Uneasy Parallels

Kálra Móricz

in Jewish Identities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520250888
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933682 | DOI:
Uneasy Parallels

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The goal of utopias is total unity, accomplished through total order, which has also been the essential quality of totalitarian political systems in the twentieth century. Nothing proved utopias' dystopian potential more than the recognition that “ideal” states, as the existence of communist and Nazi states demonstrated, could indeed be realized, and that their realization is horrific. Utopian thinking was not limited to social theories and totalitarian political practices. Artists' interest in wholeness, perfection, and progress made them especially susceptible to utopian visions. Avant-garde art at the beginning of the twentieth century was especially utopian. Futurists' celebration of violence as a purifying force, the abstract tendencies in the Russian avant-garde, and the spiritual strivings of some expressionists all bear the mark of utopia.

Keywords: utopia; dystopia; social change; totalitarian political systems; Nazi; avant-garde art

Chapter.  9785 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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