1. Booker, M. Keith, ed. Dystopia. Salem Press, 2012. November 2014.
This book is comprised of articles from different authors and time periods regarding dystopian literature. There is also the inclusion of a “critical reception” section, aptly named for its discussion of dystopia in literature and how it is perceived and received. I have included this source as a counter-example to my main vein of research involving Victorian and modern-day utopian novels. The contrast will add to my arguments and provide a broader conceptualization of what makes these novels either utopian or dystopian.
2. Butler, Samuel. Erewhon. n.d. November 2014. .
In this novel, the narrator travels to a seemingly utopian society. This is a travel narrative, dealing with the constructed utopia as an actual space in the physical world. However, it may be argued that this novel is, in fact, dystopian in nature, and I will use my research to argue one way or the other. I will also discuss the human race depicted within the narrative and use this story in my dialogue of what an “ideal,” utopian race looks like according to Victorian and modern-day utopias.
3. Delveaux, Martin. “”O Me! O Me! How I Love the Earth”: William Morris’s News from Nowhere and the Birth of Sustainable Society.” Contemporary Justice Review 8.2 (2005): 131-146. November 2014.
This article goes into great detail regarding William Morris’s News from Nowhere and its innovative implications for a futuristic, sustainable society. Within these arguments of ideal sustainability, there are discussions of several components which would a utopian society would encompass. Concepts such as ecocentricity, gender equality, bioregionalism, and sustainable cities will all be included in my overarching argument for what makes literature “utopian” versus “dystopian,” and much of this information will come into play during my discussion of the novel, News from Nowhere. Sustainability will, ideally, become a running theme as my research progresses.
4. Lytton, Edward Bulwer. The Coming Race. London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1871. November 2014. .
Within this novel is a travel, “hollow earth” narrative, leading readers toward a utopia and having them explore this presumably “ideal” world. I chose to use this novel in my research with the reasoning that there are, presently, arguments as to whether this literary piece is truly utopian, or if it is doing its best to hide its dystopian nature. I will examine its components and argue in favor of the evidence. I will also be utilizing the written creation of the humanoid race found within the text to support another of my sources, “Science Fiction and Imagination.”
5. Mehra, Vivek. The Politics of the (Im)Possible: Utopia and Dystopia Reconsidered. Ed. Barnita Bagchi. 2012. Book. November 2014.
The first part of this book, where from I will most likely be drawing most of my information from this source, deals largely with “Utopia and Dystopia: Debates and Resonances.” Pulling from different sources, the author discusses utopia and common components. Similar to, though not the same as, Utopian Geographies & the Early English Novel, this book discusses the components which make utopian societies seem more real, more physical to the reader. Prior to this, the book begins by discussing the origin of the term ‘utopia,’ and goes on to connect this back to the idea of a physical space in our world. Sources are pulled from international pools, arguing for common and opposing themes when handling both utopian and dystopian literary works. The components I believe I will find most useful in my own research are those which deal with the dimensional aspects of utopia and dystopia (where in space and time do these places fall?), especially when dealing with the novel News from Nowhere and the ideas of time travel and dreams.
6. Morris, William. News from Nowhere. 1908 Longmans, Green, and Co., 1890. November 2014.
I will argue this novel as an example of a pure utopia. It will tie in heavily with my source “”O Me! O Me! How I Love the Earth”: William Morris’s News from Nowhere and the Birth of Sustainable Society” and the corresponding discussions of sustainability. It will also be utilized within my discussions of utopias as dimensional locations, with this one being located in a recognizable, physical place, however, far into the future, thereby making it, again, unobtainable.
7. Pearl, Jason H. Utopian Geographies & the Early English Novel. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2014. Book. November 2014.
This text goes into detail about how within the construction of utopias is this initial, inherent idea of accessibility for the readers and narrator. Using such tropes as the “dream” or “travel” narrative, the author explains how, by basing these locations in the truths of recognizable places, they, in turn, become more recognizable and real. However, as the story goes on, some truth or reality is revealed that demystifies the physical location and recreates the sense of inaccessibility; the utopia is again out of reach. This book deals largely with literature prior to the Victorian era, but I will use its arguments to support the idea that these earlier concepts were what inspired later authors to expand on the utopian conceptualization and ideals, leading all the way up to what one might read in today’s modern world.
8. Raffaella Baccolini, David Ketterer, Eric S. Rabkin. “Science Fiction and Imagination.” PMLA 120.1 (2005): 246-249. November 2014. .
This brief response article provides what is perhaps a new, in-the-works definition of what makes something “science-fiction” by offering a variety of literary expectations and characteristics of the genre. It also argues the differences between two different sorts of dystopian satire: what separates mere “speculative” fiction from true “science” fiction? Beyond discussions of the genre itself, the authors touch on the topic of races found within this literature. This information will be useful for my arguments discussing the portrayal of humanoid species within The Coming Race, as well as the perfected human races in both Erewhon and News from Nowhere and how they contribute to the overall utopian (or dystopian) image, where appropriate.
9. Zemka, Sue. “Erewhon and the End of Utopian Humanism.” ELH 69 (2002): 439-472. November 2014.
In this article, Zemka goes into further detail as to what, perhaps, makes Samuel Butler’s Erewhon a utopian novel. More than this, the author provides information as to how Erewhon was innovatively utopian for its time, describing how Butler found a new concept of humanity in which to base his fictionalized, somewhat satirized, society. Through this, Erewhon and Butler pave the way for future novels and utopias. Zemka argues that “Erewhon pronounces—however prematurely—the death of the humanist subject that animates the utopian myth of idyllic expansion and its imperialist subtext” (p442). Along with these arguments are some mentions of the opposition—what makes or why would Erewhon not be considered utopian in its nature? I plan on using much of this information to support my arguments involving Erewhon, and whether or not it is truly utopian or merely dystopian.
November 19, 2014