Writers have created fictions of social perfection at least since Plato’s Republic. Sir Thomas More gave this thread of intellectual history a name when he called his contribution to it Utopia, Greek for no place.
With each subsequent author cognizant of his predecessors and subject to altered real-world conditions which suggest ever-new causes for hope and alarm, “no place” changed. The fourteen essays presented in this book critically assess man’s fascination with and seeking for “no place.”
“In discussing these central fictions, the contributors see ‘no place’ from diverse perspectives: the sociological, the psychological, the political, the aesthetic. In revealing the roots of these works, the contributors cast back along the whole length of utopian thought. Each essay stands alone; together, the essays make clear what ‘no place’ means today. While it may be true that ‘no place’ has always seemed elsewhere or elsewhen, in fact all utopian fiction whirls contemporary actors through a costume dance no place else but here.”—from the Preface
The contributors are Eric S. Rabkin, B. G. Knepper, Thomas J. Remington, Gorman Beauchamp, William Matter, Ken Davis, Kenneth M. Roemer, William Steinhoff, Howard Segal, Jack Zipes, Kathleen Woodward, Merritt Abrash, and James W. Bittner.
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Eric S. Rabkin is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Long Range Planning at the University of Michigan. He is a fiction writer and widely published critic.
Martin H. Greenberg is Professor of Regional Analysis and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
Joseph D. Olander is Professor of English and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas, El Paso.
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