Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity

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University of California Press, 04.06.2002 - 323 Seiten
Drawing from literary history, social theory, and political critique, this far-reaching study explores the utopian narrative as a medium for understanding the social space of the modern nation-state. Considering the narrative utopia from its earliest manifestation in Thomas More's sixteenth-century work Utopia to some of the most influential utopias of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this book is an astute study of a literary genre as well as a nuanced dialectical meditation on the history of utopian thinking as a quintessential history of modernity.

As he unravels the dialectics at work in the utopian narrative, Wegner gives an ambitious synthetic discussion of theories of modernity, considering and evaluating the ideas of writers such as Ernst Bloch, Louis Marin, Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Henri Lefebvre, Paul de Man, Karl Mannheim, Mikhail Bakhtin, Jürgen Habermas, Slavoj Zizek, and Homi Bhabha.
 

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Inhalt

Genre and the Spatial Histories of Modernity
1
The Institutional Being of Genre
4
Space and Modernity
10
Estrangement and the Temporality of Utopia
17
Utopia and the Birth of Nations
27
Utopiques and Conceptualized Space
34
Crime and History
40
Utopia and the NationThing
45
Nameless Formless Things
119
Gaseous Vertebrate
126
Simplification and the New Subject of History
132
A Map of Utopias Possible Worlds Zamyatins We and Le Guins The Dispossessed
147
The City and the Country
151
Happiness and Freedom
158
The Play of Possible Worlds
161
The Dispossessed and the Limits of the Horizon
172

Utopia and the Work of Nations
59
Writing the New American RePublic Remembering and Forgetting in Looking Backward
62
The Contemporary CuldeSac
65
Fragmentation
68
Consumerism and Class
74
The Associations of Our Active Lifetime
81
Fogetting
87
The Occluded Future Red Star and The Iron Heel as Critical Utopias
99
Red Star and the Horizons of Russian Modernity
102
The Long Revolution of the Iron Heel
116
Modernity Nostalgia and the Ends of Nations in Orwells Nineteen EightyFour
183
From Utopian Modernism to Naturalist Utopia
185
Nineteen EightyFour as Conservative Utopia
192
The Crisis of Modern Reason
197
The Culture Industry and Secondary Orality
208
Orwells Intellectuals
216
Notes
229
Index
287
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Über den Autor (2002)

Phillip E. Wegner is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida.

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