Utopias of One
Joshua Kotin (Author)
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Utopias fail. Utopias of one do not. They are perfect worlds. Yet their success comes at a cost. They are radically singular-and thus exclusive and inimitable. Utopias of One is a major new account of utopian writing. Joshua Kotin examines how eight writers-Henry David Thoreau, W. E. B. Du Bois, Osip and Nadezhda Mandel'shtam, Anna Akhmatova, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, and J. H. Prynne-construct utopias of one within and against modernity's two large-scale attempts to harmonize individual and collective interests: liberalism and communism. The book begins in the United States between the buildup to the Civil War and the end of Jim Crow; continues in the Soviet Union between Stalinism and the late Soviet period; and concludes in England and the United States between World War I and the end of the Cold War. The book, in this way, captures how writers from disparate geopolitical contexts resist state and normative power to construct perfect worlds-for themselves alone. Utopias of One makes a vital contribution to debates about literature and politics, presenting innovative arguments about aesthetic difficulty, personal autonomy, and complicity and dissent. The book also models a new approach to transnational and comparative scholarship, combining original research in English and Russian to illuminate more than a century and a half of literary and political history. 1 halftone. 2 line illus.
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About the Author
Joshua Kotin is associate professor of English at Princeton University and an affiliated faculty member in the university's Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
- Contributor: Joshua Kotin
- Imprint: Princeton University Press
- ISBN13: 9780691196541
- Number of Pages: 216
- Packaged Dimensions: 156x235mm
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: Princeton University Press
- Release Date: 2019-11-12
- Binding: Paperback / softback
- Biography: Joshua Kotin is associate professor of English at Princeton University and an affiliated faculty member in the university's Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.