The Longing for Utopia

Theodore Ziolkowski

in Modes of Faith

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226983639
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226983660 | DOI:
The Longing for Utopia

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If the inward turn to art had failed, along with the outward turn to political solutions, whether in community or myth, the obvious solution was Nowhere, the place called Nusquama, Erewhon, or—in the phrase coined by Thomas More—Utopia. But where is “Nowhere”? In space? in time? In another dimension altogether? The startling scientific advances at the turn of the twentieth century opened new dimensions for exploration and exposed unanticipated potentialities for the positing of utopian visions just when Newtonian time and Copernican space seemed to be exhausted. The early and still classic model of this new type of utopia is H. G. Wells's A Modern Utopia (1905). This chapter examines utopia in three works of fiction: H. G. Wells's Men Like Gods, Yevgeny Zamiatin's We, and Gerhart Hauptmann's Island of the Great Mother.

Keywords: utopia; space; time; H. G. Wells; Men Like Gods; Yevgeny Zamiatin; We; Gerhart Hauptmann; Island of the Great Mother; exploration

Chapter.  16690 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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