CHAPTER 2 SHAW'S MAJOR BARBARA What Price Utopia ? You know , the creature is really a sort of poet in his way . George Bernard Shaw " Major " Barbara In late November 1905 , when Major Barbara was first staged in London , the title of ...
Author: Peter Edgerly Firchow
Publisher: CUA Press
Criticism on utopian subjects has generally neglected the literary or fictional dimension of utopia. The reason for such neglect may be that earlier utopian fictions tended to be written by what one would nowadays call social scientists, e.g., Plato or Sir Thomas More. That is also why earlier discussions of utopian fiction were usually written by critics trained in the social sciences rather than by critics trained in literature. To an appreciable degree this still tends to be the case today. Now, however, there is an additional difficulty, for the social scientists are critiquing utopias written by people who are primarily literary, for example, Krishan Kumar on Wells or Bernard Crick on Orwell. Inevitably much of importance--of literary importance--is simply disregarded, and so our understanding of modern utopia is correspondingly diminished. This book aims to put the fiction back into utopian fictions. While tracing the development of fiction in the writing of modern utopias, especially in Britain, it seeks to demonstrate in specific ways how those utopias have become increasingly literary--possibly as a reaction not only against the "social scientification" of modern utopias but also in reaction against the modern attempt to institute "utopia" in reality, notably in the former Soviet Union but also in consumerist, late-twentieth-century America. After an introductory discussion of how we understand--and how we should understand--modern utopian fictions, the book provides several examples of how those understandings affect our appreciation of utopian fiction. There are chapters on H. G. Wells's Time Machine; Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara; Aldous Huxley's Brave New World; George Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four; William Golding's Lord of the Flies; and Iris Murdoch's The Bell. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Edgerly Firchow, internationally recognized scholar and author of numerous works including Reluctant Modernists, W. H. Auden: Contexts for Poetry, Envisioning Africa: Racism and Imperialism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," and The End of Utopia, is professor of English at the University of Minnesota. "Firchow includes much that is praiseworthy in this short book on utopian fiction. . . . Firchow's work displays his very well informed explication and his ability, in most instances, to make literary texts come alive. His treatment of Wells's The Time Machine is simply outstanding. . . . I find his enthusiasm for his texts refreshing and his work on the end of history meticulous. Other scholars of utopian fiction will as well." -- H-Net Reviews "Utopian fiction has often been mangled in interpretation on the occasions when it has been read without a sense of irony, for the sake of political analysis, disregarding its artistic nature. To counterpoise such approaches, Firchow offers us a close reading of each of the chosen works, while also placing them in literary context," -- Janice Rossen, Partial Answers
But problems there were, as, paradoxically, there always are in Utopia, and by end of 1907 — barely more than five ... of its own choice of products; instead, its viability was dependent on what the market wanted and at what price.
Author: Dennis Hardy
Publisher: Psychology Press
England in the early part of the twentieth century was rich in utopian ventures - diverse and intriguing in their scope and aims. Two world wars, an economic depression, and the emergence of fascist states in Europe were all a spur to idealists to seek new limits - to escape from the here and now, and to create sanctuaries for new and better lives. Dennis Hardy explores this fascinating history of utopian ideals, the lives of those who pursued them, and the utopian communities they created. Some communities were fired by a long tradition of land movements, others by thoughts of more humane ways of building towns. In turn there were experiments devoted to the arts; to the promotion of religious doctrine; and to a variety of political causes. And some were just 'places of the imagination'. Utopian England is about just one episode in the perennial search for perfection, but what is revealed has lessons that extend well beyond a particular time and place. So long as there are failings in society, so long as rationality is not enough, there will continue to be a place for thinking the impossible, for going in search of utopia.
And when there are disparate things to be allocated, values derived from market prices offer the possibility of an envy-free allocation.9 If the market value of each person's allotment is equal to that of every other person, ...
Author: Jürgen Backhaus
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book examines utopias in classical political economy and is based on the papers presented by leading scholars at the 22nd Heilbronn Symposium in the Economics and the Social Sciences. The book focuses on the tension between the State and utopia (the State as utopia vs. utopia instead of a state). The contributors also study the question of whether seafaring and landlocked states visualize the commonwealth differently and develop different utopias, and it is concluded they do not. The volume therefore follows the refutation of the Schumpeterian Hypothesis that more concentrated industries stimulate innovation. Though the hypothesis is refuted it still remains important, the chapters argue, because it charts out an entire research program, serves as a benchmark of definite public and private sector boundaries, and defines the grammar of discourse for constitutional economic policy in OECD states. These themes are explored in detail through contributions by economists, philosophers, and social historians. The contributors examine utopias hitherto never or rarely reviewed in the English language, making this book of interest to students and scholars in economics, political science and the history of economic thought.
Utopia provides security: but at what price? In both its external and internal relations, indeed, it seems perilously dystopian. 119 We have seen that Bell refers to the dys of dystopia as comprising operations of power that limit what ...
Author: Franziska Bork Petersen
Publisher: Springer Nature
This book investigates how desires to transform our bodies can bring utopia to the present, and how utopian practices often lead to distinctly dystopian or anti-utopian outcomes. It is the first comprehensive study to address the paradoxical relationship between bodies and utopianism. Franziska Bork Petersen discusses doping, bodybuilding and cosmetic surgery alongside practices such as retouching the ‘body as image’ on social media, and looks at how fashion modelling and performance ‘estrange’ the body. Techniques and technologies to transform our bodies are increasingly accessible and suggest an excessive identification of the body as lacking. To ‘be a body’ in a culturally meaningful way, we incessantly improve our bodily appearance and capacity. The book therefore addresses the utopianism inherent in a cultural understanding of bodies as increasingly controllable.
This usage of the image of utopia is driven by the perception of a mismatch between the reality of public education, ... In their studies on social movements in the Americas, the anthropologists Charles Price, Donald Nonini, ...
Author: Sandra Gilgan
Utopia in the Revival of Confucian Education investigates the classics-reading movement in contemporary Chinese society by examining how people re-forge lost bonds with tradition in the revival of Confucian education and strive towards their ideal future, while seeking to overcome the problems of the present.
For these two reasons—his utopian belief in art's social and epistemological relevance and his equally utopian insistence on honesty in the art ... His original objective was to force MNAM to reveal the terms (i.e., the price) ...
Author: Michael F. Leruth
Publisher: MIT Press
“France's most famous unknown artist,” the innovative media provocateur Fred Forest, precursor of Eduardo Kac, Jodi, the Yes Men, RT Mark, and the Guerilla Girls. The innovative French media artist and prankster-provocateur Fred Forest first gained notoriety in 1972 when he inserted a small blank space in Le Monde, called it 150 cm2 of Newspaper (150 cm2 de papier journal), and invited readers to fill in the space with their own work and mail their efforts to him. In 1977, he satirized speculation in both the art and real estate markets by offering the first parcel of officially registered “artistic square meters” of undeveloped rural land for sale at an art auction. Although praised by leading media theorists—Vilém Flusser lauded Forest as “the artist who pokes holes in media”—Forest's work has been largely ignored by the canon-making authorities. Forest calls himself “France's most famous unknown artist.” In this book, Michael Leruth offers the first book-length consideration of this iconoclastic artist, examining Forest's work from the 1960s to the present. Leruth shows that Forest chooses alternative platforms (newspapers, mock commercial ventures, video-based interactive social interventions, media hacks and hybrids, and, more recently, the Internet) that are outside the exclusive precincts of the art world. A fierce critic of the French contemporary art establishment, Forest famously sued the Centre Pompidou in 1994 over its opaque acquisition practices. After making foundational contributions to Sociological Art in the 1970s and the Aesthetics of Communication in the 1980s, the pioneering Forest saw the Internet as another way for artists to bypass the art establishment in the 1990s. Arguing that there is a strong utopian quality in Forest's work, Leruth sees this utopianism not as naive or conventional but as a reverse utopianism: rather than envisioning an impossible ideal, Forest reenvisions and probes the quasi-utopia of our media-augented everyday reality. The interface is the symbolic threshold to be crossed with an open mind.