Etherotopia, an ideal state and a state of mind : utopian philosophy as literature and practice

Callow, Christos (2015) Etherotopia, an ideal state and a state of mind : utopian philosophy as literature and practice. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the concept of Etherotopia (which literally translates to 'ethereal place'), by which I define the combination of utopian philosophy with certain ideas of individual perfection such as nirvana. The argument is made that the separation of utopian visions into social utopias and individual ones (states and states of mind) is a false dilemma, since a complete utopian theory should include both. In relation to my own utopian writing and as a transition from the critical to the creative part of this thesis, I examine the question of genre in utopian literature and, following from the view that literary genres are subjective and conventional, I argue that utopian literature doesn‘t need to be labelled as a literary genre but rather that it is utopian philosophy in literary form, and therefore philosophical writing. Having argued for the need of a contemporary Etherotopian theory and having discussed the relationship between utopian writing and genre, I proceed to introducing my portfolio of creative writing, a short story collection with the title Etherotopias, which is a series of diverse utopian/dystopian fictions that in some cases expand on the concept of Etherotopia either philosophically or aesthetically, while in other cases provide literary responses to conflicting utopian theories popular in contemporary society and its consumer culture. The collection is therefore a series of arguments and criticisms in the form of stories that range from political and satirical to religious and existential and address social issues as well as utopian and dystopian states of mind.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date of PhD award confirmed as 2015 by registry
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Arts > English & Humanities
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2015 14:35
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2017 00:05
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/118

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