From Eden to Utopia. A Morphology of the Utopian Genre

Corin Braga


We start from the idea that Utopia is a Renaissance alternative to the Medieval Garden of Eden and, consequently, that dystopia, as a failed utopia, continues the theme of Paradise Lost. Inheriting such a rich tradition, the word "utopia" designates a semantic hybrid that encompasses several fields and disciplines. In this paper, we propose a reorganisation of the species of the utopian genre by reusing, with a minimum of violence, the already existing, albeit rather lax terms of (o)utopia, eutopia, dystopia and antiutopia (or counterutopia). The main criteria for distinguishing these species are the moral value, the degree of verisimilitude, the constructing procedures ("electrolysis" of the positive and negative elements, utopian extrapolation, proof by contradiction, etc.)


Terrestrial Paradise, Literary Genres, Utopia, Eutopia, Dystopia, Antiutopia, Mundus.

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