The Utopia is a representation of an ideal reality and without defect. That is translated, in the writings, by an ideal political regime (which would control the men perfectly), a perfect company (without injustice for example, like the Callipolis of Socrate) or a community of individuals living happy and in harmony (the Abbaye of Thélème, in Gargantua, of Rabelais, in 1534).
In front of the threat of the political censorship or nun, the authors locate the action in an imaginary world, unknown island for example (the Island of the slaves, Marivaux, 1725), or inaccessible mountain (the discovery of Eldorado, in Candide, 1759).
A Utopia can also indicate a not easily acceptable reality: of this direction, to qualify something of utopian consists in disqualifying it and regarding it as irrational. This polysemia, which varies the definition of the term between literary text with political vocation and unrealizable dream, attests fight between two beliefs, one in the possibility of reflecting on reality by the fictional representation, the other on the radical dissociation of the dream and the act, the ideal and reality.
Origin of the term UtopiaThe term of utopia is a Greek Néologisme forged by Thomas More in 1516 to indicate the ideal company which it describes in his work Utopia . It is translated into French by Utopia . This term is composed of the privative prefix U or ): in which language? He decides French /u/ and English /ju/--> and of the word topos which means place. The direction of Utopia is thus, roughly, " without lieu" , " who is not nowhere ". However, in the heading of the edition of Basle of 1518 of Utopia, Thomas More uses, exceptionally, the term of Eutopia to indicate the imaginary place which it conceived. This second neologism does not rest any more on the privative prefix U but on the prefix have , which one finds in euphoria and which means good . Eutopie thus means " the good lieu".
So from these two words, only the first will pass to the posterity, they are not less complementary to describe the originality of the Utopia of More. Indeed, this work has as a characteristic to be, on the one hand, an account of voyage and the description of a fictitious place ( utopia ) and, on the other hand, a project of rational establishment of an ideal company ( eutopia ). These two aspects of the text of Thomas More brought to qualify Utopia of very different works.
The Utopia ( eutopia ) is the description of an ideal company. It proceeds besides of a tradition which one makes go up with the Republic of Plato. More specifically the Utopia ( utopia ) is a literary Genre being connected with the Récit of voyage but having for framework of the imaginary companies.
These two definitions are not excluded: the Utopia of Thomas More, the City of the Sun of Campanella or the News Atlantis of Francis Bacon meet these two conditions and are at the same time accounts and descriptions of original companies.
However, as of the 17th century, many authors will seize this new literary kind and will develop some the romantic aspect and satirical with the detriment of the political project. Thus works such as the Gulliver's Travels (1721) of Jonathan Swift were qualified in their time of Utopias.
Thomas More invented the literary kind of the Utopia, it had the ambition to widen the field of possible and not of impossible as this word is synonymous today.
It is here to note that, in its test devoted to the first Utopias, those of before the accounts of More, Campanella or Cabet ( the First Utopias , the Primary educations , 1938), Régis Messac gives a restrictive definition of the Utopie term. “ the word of Utopia, forged by Thomas More, and of proper name become generic, is of everyday usage to indicate literary works which, in a fictitious and narrative form, offer the image of an ideal State to us, where all the evils and the wrongs of the company presents are cured and rectified. This literary kind was a long time the principal vehicle of the reforming ideas, but these writings are repeated much, one finds there hundred times the same banalities, hundred times the same gaps or the same errors. ”
In other words, Régis Messac regards the Utopia as a purely romantic work, necessarily progressist, consisted of two elements: “ the framework, i.e. the account of whimsical or fantastic adventures, the marvellous or geographical novel; contents, i.e. the representation of an ideal company. ” However, if one does not go without the other, “ one or the other of the two elements can prevail ”. For Messac, it goes without saying that as true Utopias works cannot be regarded where the second element dominates, the contents, i.e. the representation of a company perfect or at least sophisticated.
This is why Messac recognizes neither the Republic of Plato nor the Cyropédie of Xénophon like belonging exactly to the utopian kind; it dissipates certain ambiguities on this subject and regards these works as concerning category of the similar treaties of policy to those of Bodin, Machiavel and Montesquieu. “ At most , says it, can one arrange, if one wants, the Cyropédie in the category of the teaching Utopias and to put it beside Télémaque, to which it was used besides as model. ”
In addition, Régis Messac observes that the utopian accounts meet a social need. “ It is undoubtedly allowed to say , writes it, as a whole, that in fact the periods of uncertainty, concern, even of suffering are especially favorable to the appearance of accounts of this kind. When many men, the majority of the men, perhaps, are constrained to be folded up on themselves, they seek in their imagination what reality refuses to them, and one sees flowering the Utopias. ”
Theodore Monod, of dimensioned sound, writing “ the Utopia is simply what was not tested yet! ”
History of the Utopia
Precursors of the Utopia
The thought of Plato is exposed in the traditional work the République, whose title even is a program. By Republic, Plato understands Politeia, i.e. State, Constitution. Plato wanted to thus trace the broad outlines of what was to be a Cité organized in an ideal way. It is this will to constitute an ideal Cité which makes of Plato the large founder of the concept of Idée, which was taken again later on by the " utopistes" 19th century.
It is very important to note that, even if Plato thought of the economic questions, its thought was not as led on this topic as that of its successor Aristote, who wrote a work dedicated to the economy: Economic .
Genesis of the kind: the Utopia of Thomas MoreThe lawyer and man of letters Thomas More are registered, following the example his friend Érasme, within the framework of the humanistic movement which redécouvre the ancient literature Greek and Latin and is inspired some. More knew works of Aristote and of Plato and the project of ideal city which occupies part of the Republic can be regarded as one of the sources of inspiration of the Utopie . The text of More is however also dependant on its time: it partly borrows its form from the accounts of voyage of Vasco de Gama or Magellan. The discovery of the Nouveau world in 1492 put Europeans in liaison with other people, very different, and makes it possible More to imagine an original civilization located at the borders of the known world. In a more general way, its society project fits in the philosophical current of the Renaissance which places the Man in the center of the world.
The first book of the Utopia brings back a conversation between the Narrateur and several others character S, of which Raphaël Hythloday a navigator who discovered the island of Utopia. The discussion relates mainly to the injustices and the defects of the company, injustices to which Raphaël Hythloday opposes the wise habits of the country of which it made the discovery. The second book brings back the Description by Hythloday of the Utopia. This description, detailed enough, relates to the laws, the habits, the history, the architecture and the economic operation of the island.
The company utopienne is fundamentally levelling and is unaware of any private property. One can qualify it communist . It rests moreover on a whole of laws and an organization very rational and precise. It is presented like the most led of the Civilization S.
One can see in this work before a a whole criticism of the company English (and European) of the 16th century. The virtues of the Utopia are to some extent answers to the injustices of the real-world: they underline them by contrast (the equality of all the citizens utopiens clarifies extreme misery, at that time, of many English peasants without grounds) and show that the evils of England are perhaps not fates since Utopiens solved them. The Utopia, which is presented in the form of a work of fiction, affirms nevertheless that the man with the possibility of influencing its destiny and is thus carrying the concept of Histoire. More however abstains from presenting its Utopia like a political program. He considers the realization of such a company as desirable but affirms not even to hope for it.
Thus, the literary kind creates by Thomas More rests on a Paradoxe. It is presented indeed in the form of a work of fiction without bond with reality: the name of the island (" nowhere ") but also of the river which crosses it ( Anhydre , i.e. " without eau") or of the navigator Hythlodee (who means: " teller of balivernes") are there for us to point out it. However, the utopian refuses with any recourse to marvellous or with imagination and the happiness which is supposed to reign in Utopia must rest on the coherence of the project. No paradisiac climate, no divine blessing, no one magic capacity did not contribute to the realization of the perfect company. It is thus about a fiction whose value rests on the coherence of the speech.
Utopias of the rebirth
- the Utopia of Thomas More, 1516.
- the abbey of Thélème in Gargantua of Rabelais, 1532.
- the News Atlantis of Francis Bacon, end 16th century, beginning 17th century.
Utopias of the traditional period
- the City of the Sun of Tommaso Campanella, 1623.
- Criticon of Baltasar Gracián, 1651-1657.
- the Other World or States and Empires of the Moon of Cyrano of Bergerac, 1657.
- known Southern Land of Gabriel de Foigny, 1676.
- History of Sévarambes of Denis Veiras, 1677-1679.
- Adventures of Télémaque of Fénelon, 1699.
Utopias of the Lights
- Libertalia in “General History of Pyrates of typiak” of Daniel Defoe, 1724.
- the Island of the slaves of Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux, 1725.
- Voyage to the country of Houyhnhnms , fourth of the Gulliver's Travels, of Jonathan Swift, 1726.
- the Ingenuous Eldorado in (Chapter XVIII) of Voltaire, 1759.
- the Truth, or the True system of Leger Marie Deschamps (Ca 1750-1760)
- Country of Gangarides in the Princess of Babylon of Voltaire, 1768.
- the year 2440 of Louis Sebastien Draper, 1786 (2nde edition).
- Paul and Virginia of Jacques-Henri Bernardin of Saint-Pierre, 1789.
Utopias at the 19th century
- the Phalanstery of Charles Fourier v. 1830.
- Voyage in Icarie of Etienne Cabet, 1840.
- the Five Hundred Million the Begum, of Jules Verne, 1879.
- New of Nowhere or an Era of Rest (News from Nowhere gold Year Epoch off Rest) of William Morris, 1890.
Utopias at the 20th century
- Gestures and opinions of Doctor Faustroll, pataphysician of Alfred Jarry, 1911.
- Us Others of Ievgueni Zamiatine, 1924.
- Brave New World of Aldous Huxley, 1932.
- play of the shots glass of Hermann Hesse, 1943.
- 1984 (novel) of George Orwell, 1949.
- Foundation of Isaac Asimov, 1951.
- Island of Aldous Huxley, 1962.
- the world of Gondawa in Mists of time and Ravage Rene Barjavel, 1968.
- the Year 01 of Gébé, 1973.
- the Annares planet in Dispossessed the of Ursula Guin, 1974.
- Écotopie of Ernest Callenbach, 1975 ()
- Adieux with the proletariat , of André Gorz (especially the last part)
- Québécie of Francine Lachance, 1990.
- Lois Lowry: The frontier runner 1994
- the Island of the Left-handeds person , Alexandre Jardin, 1995.
- the Ants of Bernard Werber, 1996.
- Beautiful Green the , film of Coline Serreau, 1996.
It will be noted, that it is about Orwell, Huxley or Houellebecq, that their respective works return more to the concept of " against-utopie" (or Dystopie).
Utopias with the 21e century
Saint-Pantel of Xavier Tacchella, 2003.
- the Island of Peace in Us them gods of Bernard Werber, 2004.
- the possibility of an island , Michel Houellebecq, 2005.
- My Utopia of Albert Jacquard, 2006.
- Utopiapolis of Hermanns Christophe, 2005.
- the Second Earth of Mario Salerno, 2004 * On the road of the Utopias , Christophe Cousin, 2007.
Range of the concept of Utopia
Political interest- The Utopia has double function in the political discourse: that to propose a radical rupture with an existing system and of more than propose a model of ideal company. These are not a simple progress which interests the Utopians but a clear rupture and a radical qualitative jump. The Utopia can thus be also registered on long run, even very long run without falling into a radicality which itself would allow resistances, preventing it from being and remaining thus in the vacuum which is its direction first. How then to preserve the otherness of the utopian revolutionary phenomenon? And if the Utopia were this vacuum to be filled up? And if the Utopia were the idealism which little by little passes from the dream to reality? Because if reality changes, the Utopia would be possible…
Myths at the origin of the concept of Utopia
The Old gold
the City of God
History of the economic thinking
ideal Engineering of the paradise
- Garden city
Hétérotopie (concept forged by Michel Foucault in 1967)
- perpetual Peace
- Utopian socialism
- Anarchism, Communism
- ' Pataphysique
- the Internet like Utopia
- diffusion of informartion like Utopia
- element B
- element C
- a nearby concept: the Uchronie
- Utopia of Thomas More: some reference marks, a good presentation article general of the work of Thomas More, founder of the kind.
- Humor, Utopia, science. On the Utopia of Thomas More and the kind of the Utopia.
- Erwelyn.com Bibliography set of themes on the against-Utopia
- Tree of possible the
- Utopia BNF
- the Mysterious Island or Utopia of an ideal world
- Groups Yahoo Forum of discution to the turn of the Utopia.
- Utopia and Utopianism is an academic review specialized in the topics of the Utopia and the utopism.
- Towards different a Utopia from the Institute city of urban architecture Bremen
- utopian Speech on an almost true experiment. The Second Earth, the book of Mario Salerno
- quoted of Utopiapolis is a BBS based on the Utopia.
- the voyage of the writer-traveller Christophe Cousin on the road of the Utopias
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