Tutor: Peter Boxall



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Creativity and Utopia

Autumn 2015
Tutor: Peter Boxall

Email: p.boxall@sussex.ac.uk

Room: B263

Tel: x8719

Office hour: Monday 3-4, Friday 1-2
This course explores the intimate relationship between creativity and utopia, as it is played out in literary and theoretical texts across the twentieth century. It examines the extent to which the art work can create new worlds (brave or otherwise), and traces the historical changes in the utopian function of literature from modernism to the present day. The relationship between creativity and utopia will be explored both through the reading of several key utopian texts, and through reflections on the practice of creative writing. The seminars will combine critical discussion with workshopping exercises, designed to test utopian ideas in practical writing environments.
Titles in bold are required reading for the week.
Some Utopias
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

Voltaire, Candide

Samuel Butler, Erewhon

Jules Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Elizabeth Corbett, New Amazonia

H.G. Wells, The Shape of Things to Come, A Modern Utopia

Lord Lytton, The Coming Race

Mary Shelley, The Last Man

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Sarah Scott, Millenium Hall

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (particularly 'Economy', in course reader).

Nathanael Hawthorne, Blithedale Romance

See also Mary Ellen Snodgrass, The Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature



Some titles to gesture towards the ongoing debate in Marxism about the role of creativity in articulating or imagining utopias
Herbert Marcuse, ‘The End of Utopia’, in Herbert Marcuse, Five Lectures: Psychoanalysis, Politics and Utopia

Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, particularly ‘The Utopian Mentality’

Etienne Balibar and Pierre Macherey, ‘On Literature as an Ideological form’, in eg. Untying the Text

Louis Althusser, ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’ in eg. Essays on Ideology

Ernst Fischer, Art Against Ideology

Ernst Bloch, The Spirit of Utopia


Some general theoretical works on Utopia
Seyla Benhabib, Critique, Norm, and Utopia: A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory

Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe, particularly ‘Afterward’

Francis Fukyama, The End of History and the Last Man

Robert C. Elliott, The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre

Ruth Levitas, The Concept of Utopia

Manuel and Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World

Manuel, ed. Utopias and Utopian Thought

Krishan Kumar, Utopianism, and Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Tmes

Zygmunt Bauman, 'Utopia with no Topos', in Zygmunt Bauman, Society Under Seige

Claeys and Sargent, eds., The Utopia Reader

Gregory Claeys, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature

Marianne DeKoven, Utopia Limited: the Sixties and the Emergence of the Postmodern

Jacques Derrida, 'Not utopia, the im-possible', in Jacques Derrida, Paper Machine

Frederic Jameson, The Seeds of Time

Frederic Jameson, 'Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture', in Social Text I (Winter, 1979), pp. 130-148

Louis Marin, Utopics: Spatial Play


Summary reading list:
Week One

Introductory week



Week Two

Thomas Moore, Utopia

Stephen Greenblatt, 'Utopian Pleasure', in Cummings and Simpson, eds.,. Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History

Week Three

HG Wells, The Time Machine

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Matthew Beaumont, Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900 (particularly Chapter 1, 'History and Utopia at the Fin de Siècle)



Week Four

Theodor Adorno, 'Aldous Huxley and Utopia', in Prisms

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

George Orwell, 1984

Yevgeny Zamyatin, We

Week Five

Ernst Bloch and Theodor Adorno, 'Something's Missing', in Ernst Bloch, The Utopian Function of Art and Literature (photocopy provided)

Samuel Beckett The Lost Ones

J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition



Week Six

Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, 'Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/ Forays'

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

Doris Lessing, To Room Nineteen

Elizabeth Bowen, 'The Back Drawing Room', in The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

Week Seven

Writing/Reading Week



Week Eight

Reflections on writing



Week Nine

Jacques Derrida, 'Passions: An Oblique Offering'

Henry James, 'The Figure in the Carpet'

Henry James, 'The Middle Years'

Samuel Beckett, Ohio Impromptu

Virginia Woolf, 'The Mark on the Wall'



Week Ten

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

E.M. Forster, 'The Story of a Panic'

Leo Bersani, 'Sociality and Sexuality'



Week Eleven

Franz Kafka, The Castle, 'Metamorphosis', 'The Burrow'.

Maurice Blanchot, 'Kafka and the Work's Demand', in The Space of Literature

Frederic Jameson, ‘Modernism, Utopia and Death’ in The Seeds of Time



Week twelve

Conclusions



Week 1

Introduction
Week 2: The Poetry of the Future
Thomas Moore, Utopia

Stephen Greenblatt, 'Utopian Pleasure', in Cummings and Simpson, eds.,. Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History
Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis

Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning from More to Shakespeare (particularly Chapter 1, 'At the Table of the Great', photocopy available)

Frederic Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future

George Logan, 'Introduction', in Thomas More, Utopia, eds. Gorge Logan and Robert Adams

J.H. Hexter, More's Utopia: The Biography of an Idea

Edward Surtz, The praise of Wisdom: A Commentary on the Religious and Moral Problems and Backgrounds of St Thomas More's 'Utopia'



Week 3: Victorian Utopianism and the Backward Gaze
HG Wells, The Time Machine

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Matthew Beaumont, Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900 (particularly Chapter 1, 'History and Utopia at the Fin de Siècle, photocopy provided)
William Morris, News From Nowhere

HG Wells, A Modern Utopia

HG Wells, The Shape of Things to Come

William Morris, 'More's Utopia: Foreword by William Morris'

William Morris, 'Architecture and History'

William Morris, 'The Dawn of a New Epoch'

Patrick Parrinder, Shadows of the Future : H.G. Wells, Science Fiction and Prophecy

Mark Hillegas, The Future as Nightmare : H.G. Wells and the anti-Utopians


Week 4: Utopia, Dystopia and Freedom
Theodor Adorno, 'Aldous Huxley and Utopia', in Prisms

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

George Orwell, 1984

Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
Frederic Jameson, 'The Politics of Utopia', in the New Left Reviw, vol 25, Jan/Feb 2004

Hannah Arendt, 'Ideology and Terror: A Novel Form of Government', in Irving Howe, ed., Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

owe, ed., OrOre

David L Kubal, Outside the Whale: George Orwell's Art and Politics

Peter Ruppert, 'The Anti-Utopia: the Necessity of History', in Peter Ruppert, Reader in a Strange Land: The Activity of Reading Utopias

E.J. Brown, Brave New World, 1984, and We: An Essay on Anti-Utopia

Salman Rushdie, 'Outside the Whale', in Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands

Raymond Williams, Orwell

Isaac Deutscher, '1984 - The Mysticism of Cruelty', in Williams, ed., George Orwell: A Collection of Critical Essays

Martin Esslin, 'Television and Telescreen', in Stansky, ed., On Nineteen Eighty-Four

Lionel Trilling, 'George Orwell and the Politics of Truth', in Irving Howe, ed., Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

David Bradshaw, ed., The Hidden Huxley: Contempt and Compassion for the Masses



Week 5: Something's Missing
Ernst Bloch and Theodor Adorno, 'Something's Missing', in Ernst Bloch, The Utopian Function of Art and Literature (photocopy provided)

Samuel Beckett The Lost Ones

J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition
Ernst Bloch, The Utopian Function in Art and Literature

Ernst Bloch, The Spirit of Utopia

Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September

Joseph Long, 'Divine Intertextuality: Samuel Beckett, Company, Le Dépeupleur, in Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, no. 9

Garin Dowd, 'Figuring Zero in the Lost Ones', in Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, no. 9

Sylvie Debevec Henning, Beckett’s Critical Complicity: Carnival, Contestation and Tradition

Andrew Bennet and Nicholas Royle, Elizabeth Bowen and the Dissolution of the Novel: Still Lives

Hermione Lee, Elizabeth Bowen

Edwin Kennedy, Elizabeth Bowen

Victoria Glendinning, Elizabeth Bowen: Portrait of a Writer

Phyllis Lassner, Elizabeth Bowen
Week 6: Ways Out: Utopia and Feminism

Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, 'Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/ Forays'

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

Doris Lessing, To Room Nineteen

Elizabeth Bowen, 'The Back Drawing Room', in The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Utopian Novels

Ann J. Lane, The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader

Lorna Sage, Doris Lessing

Lorna Sage, ‘Lessing and Atopia’, in Kaplan and Cronan, eds., Doris Lessing: the Alchemy of Survival

Elizabeth Maslen, Doris Lessing

Louise Yelin, From the Margins of Empire: Christine Stead, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer

Monique Wittig, Les Guérillères (in French)

Nan Bowman Albinski, Women’s Utopias in British and American Fiction

Jones and Goodwin, eds., Feminism, Utopia and Narrative

Frances Bartkowski, Feminist Utopias

Polly Wynn Allen, Building Domestic Liberty: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Architectural Feminism



Week 7: Reading/Writing week
Week 8: reflections on writing
Week 9: Utopian Economies of Reading
Jacques Derrida, 'Passions: An Oblique Offering'

Henry James, 'The Figure in the Carpet'

Henry James, 'The Middle Years'

Samuel Beckett, Ohio Impromptu

Virginia Woolf, 'The Mark on the Wall'
J. Hillis Miller, ‘The Figure in the Carpet’, in Poetics Today

J. Hillis Miller, ‘Re-Reading Re-Vision: James and Benjamin’, in Hillis Miller, The Ethics of Reading

Sharon Cameron, Thinking in Henry James

Sara Chapman, Henry James’s Portrait of the Writer as Hero

Henry James, ‘The Art of Fiction’, in Henry James, The Critical Muse: Selected Literary Criticism

Jonathan Freedman, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Henry James

Harold Bloom, ed., Henry James: Modern Critical Views

S. Gontarski, The Intent of Undoing in Samuel Beckett’s Dramatic texts

Roland Barthes, ‘Myth Today’, in Mythologies

Diana Knight, Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing



Week 10: Utopian Sexualities
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

E.M. Forster, 'The Story of a Panic'

Leo Bersani, 'Sociality and Sexuality'
Nicholas Royle, E.M. Forster

Robert K. Martin and George Piggford, Queer Forster

Jeremy Tambling, ed., E.M. Forster

Alex Zwerdling, Virginia Woolf and the Real World

Su Ried, ed., Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse

Sue Roe and Susan Sellers, The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf

Harold Bloom, ed., Clarissa Dalloway

Jane Dunn, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell: A Very Close Conspiracy

Laura Marcus, Virginia Woolf

Sue Roe, Writing and Gender: Virginia Woolf’s Writing Practice

Rachel Bowlby, Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf
Week 11: Negativity and Utopia
Viewing of Orson Welles, The Trial
Franz Kafka, The Castle, 'Metamorphosis', 'The Burrow'.

Maurice Blanchot, 'Kafka and the Work's Demand', in The Space of Literature

Frederic Jameson, ‘Modernism, Utopia and Death’ in The Seeds of Time
Roland Barthes, ‘Kafka’s Answer’, in Hamalian, ed., Franz Kafka: A Collection of Criticism

Albert Camus, ‘Hope and the Absurd in the world of Franz Kafka, in Gray, ed., Kafka: A Collection of Critical Essays

Max Brod, ‘The Castle: Its Genesis’, and following essays, in Flores and Swander, Franz Kafka Today

Hannah Arendt, ‘Frank Kafka’, and Ernst Fischer, ‘Kafka Conference’, in Hughes, ed., Franz Kafka: An Anthology of Marxist Criticism

Theodor Adorno, ‘Notes on Kafka’, Walter Benjamin, ‘Some Reflections on Kafka’, Erich Heller, ‘The Castle’, and Heinrich Henel, ‘”The Burrow”, or How to Escape from a Maze’, and Heinz Politzer, ‘The Wall of Secrecy: Kafka’s Castle’, in Bloom, ed., Franz Kafka: Modern Critical Views

Anthony Thorlby, Kafka: A Study



Douglas Kellner, ed., Postmodernism - Jameson - Critique

Week 12:

Conclusions

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