NEW THEME! Cast Away, Locked Away, Tempest Toss’d

A lot of literature based on this theme is very close to utopian/dystopian literature: tales of utopian islands hospitable to castaways, people locked up in such horrifying circumstances that their world shrinks to dystopia. Here’s a reading list:

THE ODYSSEY–the ultimate castaway tale

Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST–the magical isle that at least one castaway envisions as Utopia

Defoe, ROBINSON CRUSOE–or is THIS the ultimate castaway tale?

Various CAPTIVITY NARRATIVES from the Americas–with various attitudes/perspectives from captors and captives

Levi, SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ–is the concentration camp the ultimate dystopia?

Atwood, ORYX AND CRAKE–what if the whole destroyed world is your prison? (and to follow it up, try the sequel, The Year of the Flood)

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What if there really were bat-monkeys on the moon?

What if there really were bat-monkeys on the moon?.

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Welcome to Utopiary

Welcome to Utopiary, a blog about imaginary worlds—the ideal (utopia), the opposite of ideal (dystopia), and the playful and speculative worlds of all types that people the world over and from time immemorial have created in many different media: written narrative, drama, ceremony, games, film, simulations, anything the human imagination can envision. I enjoy thinking of these fictions as pruned and shaped to their purposes like so many fanciful topiaries, those amazing hedges and shrubberies clipped into the forms of animals or geometric shapes. Why? Because human beings like to play and live to speculate. Fictions make us who we are.

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