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Mapping Utopia


Ljungberg, Christina (2018). Mapping Utopia. In: Riquet, Johannes; Kollmann, Elizabeth. Spatial modernities : geography, narrative, imaginaries. New York: Routledge, 42-56.

Abstract

From very early on, writers seem to have known how to exploit the tension between discourse and space in an extremely sophisticated fashion, not least by adding maps. Maps often appear in literary texts as visual devices which, among other things, supply readers with a referential guide to the text facilitating movement within its fictional space by drawing them into the space-time continuum of the narrative. By juxtaposing writing and cartography, maps call attention to the constructed nature of both fictional and cartographic space, since both maps and fiction involve, if not downright distortion, at least some tweaking of reality. This becomes especially visible when we look at narratives of imaginary spaces whose projections of potential worlds are always at least to some extent rooted in empirical experience and therefore offer fascinating insights into the mindsets of both makers and readers. As an example, my contribution will focus on Thomas More’s speculative essay Utopia in which the maps added to the 1516 and 1518 editions are used as narrative instruments and incitements to change by mirroring and commenting on the narrative organization in intricate ways.

Abstract

From very early on, writers seem to have known how to exploit the tension between discourse and space in an extremely sophisticated fashion, not least by adding maps. Maps often appear in literary texts as visual devices which, among other things, supply readers with a referential guide to the text facilitating movement within its fictional space by drawing them into the space-time continuum of the narrative. By juxtaposing writing and cartography, maps call attention to the constructed nature of both fictional and cartographic space, since both maps and fiction involve, if not downright distortion, at least some tweaking of reality. This becomes especially visible when we look at narratives of imaginary spaces whose projections of potential worlds are always at least to some extent rooted in empirical experience and therefore offer fascinating insights into the mindsets of both makers and readers. As an example, my contribution will focus on Thomas More’s speculative essay Utopia in which the maps added to the 1516 and 1518 editions are used as narrative instruments and incitements to change by mirroring and commenting on the narrative organization in intricate ways.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:14 Jan 2019 09:18
Last Modified:28 Jun 2019 07:08
Publisher:Routledge
Number:93
ISBN:978-1-138-30455-0
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://www.routledge.com/Spatial-Modernities-Geography-Narrative-Imaginaries/Riquet-Kollmann/p/book/9781138304550 (Publisher)
https://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ebi01_prod011260588&context=L&vid=ZAD&search_scope=default_scope&tab=default_tab&lang=de_DE (Library Catalogue)

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