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Utopia, Limited: Romanticism and Adjustment
Review 19 (2017)
  • Samantha Harvey, Boise State University
In The Science of Logic, Hegel loftily claims that "it is not the finite which is real, but rather the infinite" (qtd. 3). But what happens when the valorization of the infinite promotes unsustainable thinking? In this remarkable book, Anahid Nersessian disputes "claiming infinitude or even plenitude as the ideal objects of utopian ambition" by deliberately rejecting "the language of limitlessness, and the acquisitive model it licenses." Aiming to "redefine utopianism as a positive investment in limitations," Nersessian seeks inspiration from the Romantics because, she argues, they "think about utopia in the same way as they think about art, as a means of capturing and thereby emancipating an infinite human potential within a finite space" (19). She envisions a "Romanticism of adjustment whose ambitions are keyed to self-abnegation in the face of planetary fragility and the diminishing possibilities it entails" (4).
Publication Date
September 16, 2017
Citation Information
Samantha Harvey. "Utopia, Limited: Romanticism and Adjustment" Review 19 (2017)
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