Posts Tagged: Utopia
Erik Reece, author of Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America’s Most Radical Idea, writes a lively review of Thomas More’s 1516 novel, Utopia, for FSG’s Work in Progress. More’s Utopians “revere religious tolerance above all else…in keeping with the sentiments of their founder, Utopos, who ‘considered it possible that God made different people believe different things, because He wanted to be worshipped in many different ways.’” Reece reports back from a modern-day egalitarian community, Twin Oaks in Virginia, and ends in an almost full-throated cry for more utopia in 2016....more
Adam Sternbergh, author of Dystopian novel Shovel Ready, asked whether readers are burning out on the Dystopian novel. He goes as far as suggesting that perhaps the next great novel will be a Utopian one. Emily Temple, writing at Flavorwire, explains why Utopias don’t make good novel settings:
The reason that utopian novels are far and few between is that a utopia is, on a very basic level, just not a good topic for a novel.
In anticipation of this past week’s Hay Festival, fiction luminary Toni Morrison wrote an essay for The Telegraph examining the concept of paradise as it relates to race and class. The novelist locates the promise of this “Utopia for few” in both early black newspapers and the pursuit-of-happiness ethos that drives contemporary American life: unattainable yet easily imagined, at once highly visible and just out of reach....more
If you, like us, are drooling in anticipation for the conclusion to literary empress (and Rumpus interviewee!) Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, well, mop up your chin and then check out this mini-profile of Atwood and her most recent speculative-fiction series....more
Book blurbs—and the controversies surrounding them—go back as far as Thomas More, who gathered a bouquet of them for Utopia.
Ben Jonson blurbed Shakespeare. Ralph Waldo Emerson blurbed Walt Whitman. But do they really mean anything anymore?
Click through to find out—and read historical blurbs and blurb satires like this one:
Anyone who knows Lauren Groff’s fiction would not be surprised to find that as a child in upstate New York her favorite stories were Brothers Grimm fairy tales, and by her teens she was determined to be a writer. After completing her MFA at University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked odd jobs that allowed her hours to write every day, which she still does in a corner of her drafty garage in Gainesville, Florida....more
Some days everything goes wrong. Like today, when I called the NYTBR the NYTRB on Twitter, or when I linked to the wrong thing on the book blog roundup, or when I almost ran over a San Francisco marathon runner with my bike and then accidentally blocked the photographer from taking a picture that the runner would most likely have put up on their wall forever when they finished the race....more
“But the question lingers: Apart from its questionable value as a marketing strategy, what is utopia good for?”
Paul La Farge at Bookforum on the concept and uses of utopia, with special mention of San Francisco and Burning Man....more