When he published Utopia in 1576, Thomas More created a new literary genre. Is utopia an ideal place or a “no place,” as is suggested by its Greek etymology? This ambiguity makes possible a discourse on happiness distancing itself from the existing social order. But what is the nature of this discourse? The Dictionarie des Utopies tries to demonstrate that utopia is not following only a political agenda. It explores also its artistic, architectural, urban, and technological components. From Saint Augustine’s City of God to contemporary virtual worlds, from the 1968 countercultures to the quest for the perfect city, the 110 articles of the Dictionnaire show how utopian thought is both paradoxical and productive.
Additional authors: Michèle Riot-Sarcey, Thomas Bouchet