Posted by: HAT | October 3, 2007

A map of the world . . .

A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.  And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and seeing a better country, sets sail.  Progress is the realisation of Utopias. 

[Oscar Wilde (1891),”The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” in Selected Essays and Poems (London: Penguin, 1954) p. 34]

If you have done much reading on the topic of utopia, you will already have read Oscar Wilde’s quote at least 3 times. But since clichés get to be that way because they contain some truth, Wilde’s quote seems like a good place to begin a blog called Utopian Discourse. I know I want all my maps of the world to include Utopia.

To be honest, however, right now (about 3 a.m.) I am hoping that a blog that includes Utopia may turn out not to seem worth glancing at too often by too many people. I am awake at this hour at all because someone in the ER called and woke up Doc with a summons to the ICU. Usually I don’t even wake up when that happens, but tonight I did; usually, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I go right back to sleep, but tonight that seems to be out of the question. I think the temporary insomnia has something to do with the blog project at work being on part of my mind, and my Unfinished Dissertation being on another part. Starting a personal blog on my Unfinished Dissertation that will help me work the bugs out of blogging without having to practice on the image of my employer seems like a scathingly brilliant idea at the moment (about 3 a.m.).


Well, we’ll see. My dissertation, which is not quite out of the proposal phase, is supposed to be on the utopian discourse of 3 late-20th-century philosophers:  Theodor W. Adorno, Luce Irigaray, and Giorgio Agamben.  I love my topic!  But I have LOTS of homework to do to get the project finished, and not a lot of time in which to do it. By not a lot of time, I mean less time before some deadline — although one never knows, I’m old, I could die any minute — than time in the ordinary day or average week, as some of the other projects, like the blog one at work, or supervising the extracurricular activities of Zelda the Magnificent, or occasionally cleaning up around the place, seem to crowd out my alleged scholarly activities.  This blog might make things even worse.


I’ll just try not to post too much.



  1. Hi!
    I don’t know who you are or if you’re still working on your dissertation. But, I’m doing my dissertation on utopia as well and would really enjoy corresponding with someone else. Don’t worry I’m not working on your authors so we can share ideas without overlapping. I work with Fred Jameson in the Lit program at Duke. (Who knows, you could be here too if your reading list is any indication. How crazy would that be!)

    I’ll write more if I hear from you. It’s great to know there are other utopians out there.

  2. Yes, I’m still here, no, not at Duke, but yes, that would be wacky!

    At University of Louisville, actually.

    I’ll send you e-mail.

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