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We Are Seven

Fortune-Wood, Rowan B. (2017) We Are Seven. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

Utopia has a pedigree going back to early modernity and Thomas More; it has been reshaped by contemporaneous concerns from the emergence of technologies to changing geopolitical realities. For this reason, utopia has been invested with different ideological content over centuries. There are three interrelated theses in this essay. First, that Utopia is a genre of literature that is marked by a conversation between authors; utopias broadly engage one another in a textual dialogue. Second, this genre finds its origins in the early modern period, although it has been eclipsed by dystopia since the early twentieth-­‐‑century—despite a brief recovery in the seventies. Third, utopia can be renewed in novelistic form today, as I demonstrate with my novel We Are Seven, but only by engaging in a literary conversation with dystopia as well as utopia, and by learning from literary innovations such as the ustopia. To develop these claims I will provide an analysis of theoreticians to establish delimiting definitions of the genre and examine its broader history. This involves arguing that utopias are more than idealistic depictions of fictional societies, but properly categorised as attempts to depict, in narrative form, superior, counterfactual institutional solutions to the socio-­political and economic problems of creating and sustaining a good society. Next I present examples of utopias throughout history, expanding on the thesis, before looking more in more depth at the writing process for We Are Seven. In doing so I aim to make an engaging and original contribution to the narrative tradition of utopia and participate in the historical conversation in a way that is relevant to our times and politics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of English Literature
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 09:42
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 09:42
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/10841
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