Sir Thomas More first used the word Utopia, in his book of the same name in 1516. The concept of an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect can sound particularly appealing at times… though many writers and creators might point out that it is conflict that drives drama, spices up life, and keeps things interesting, so perhaps the more desirable reality is a balance of the Utopian Ideal with a bit of fun and interesting events of a pleasant and enjoyable nature. If someone ever finds a word that defines conflict with nothing negative or malicious to it, but full of wonder and a dash of spice, so life retains its joy, mystery and charm… that might be a Utopia people would once more yearn to flock to.
Today’s selection is by Edward Bellamy. His Utopian vision is presented in Looking Backward 2000-1887. Written in 1888 it captured the minds and imaginations of his audience, most likely for very different reasons than it caught my eye as I was looking for something to add to my infamous to be read stack. They would have viewed everything in here as pure fantasy, idealistic hope (it is a Utopian work after all), and full of predictions of the future. For our modern audience, by contrast, it is a chance to glimpse what someone once thoughts our society would already have been, and be moving beyond. A chance for us to consider all the potential those came before us felt we, and our parents, and grandparents, had. To take a moment to look around, and consider what we are doing with all that we do in fact have, the things even the most creative of authors could not have imagined, as well as those things he might have hoped were coming, and move forward with a bit of thought, deliberation, and consideration.
Perhaps, somewhere out there, an author is considering writing their own Utopian piece… Looking Back 3050 – 2020. What Utopian ideals might we hope it contains, or are we deeply entrenched in a period of dystopian novels/movies and television shows?
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Copies of Looking Backward 2000 to 1887 have been added to the CheerUp.Fun August eBook Club. The first 100 people to join should automatically receive a copy. For more information on how to join the CheerUp.Fun August 2017 eBook Club Click Here.