"This is the first attempt by a major European scholar to include rich Chinese materials in a remarkably innovative study of utopia as a literary genre. Well-informed, theoretically sophisticated, and beautifully written, this book will appeal to anyone interested in history of ideas, comparative literature, and East-West cross-cultural studies." Zhang Longxi, author of Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West. Zhang Longxi is Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation City University of Hong Kong Foreign Member The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. |"Perfect Worlds is a scholarly tour de force, splendidly accomplished by one of the great comparatists of our time. With his customary clarity, deploying his profound expertise in both European and Chinese writing, Douwe Fokkema champions the significance of utopian fiction as a major genre of world literature." Michel Hockx (SOAS, University of London)
Perfect Worlds offers an extensive historical analysis of utopian narratives in the Chinese and Euro-American traditions. This comparative study discusses, among other things, More’s criticism of Plato, the European orientalist search for utopia in China, Wells’s Modern Utopia and his talk with Stalin, Chinese writers constructing their Confucianist utopia, traces of Daoism in Mao Zedong’s utopianism and politics and finally the rise of dystopian writing – a negative expression of the utopian impulse – in Europe and America as well as in China.