Abstract: Theodor Herzl once contemptuously remarked that he regards Freiland as a joke. This statement surprises if one compares his novel Altneuland ( Oldnewland ) to Theodor Hertzka's Freiland . To say the least, both utopias share many themes and narratives structures. While Altneuland (1902) became the world-renowned manifesto of Zionism, Freiland (1890) cherished popularity only at the time of its publication. Both novels are products of Vienna's fin-de-siècle modernism. Herzl's utopia is set in Palestine, Hertzka places Freiland in the empty space of East Africa. His vision of a new civilization in Africa coincided with European colonialism, nationalism and the surge of anti-Semitism in Vienna. In the following, the essay investigates if Hertzka merely criticizes the culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna, or, if he produces a unique alternative?
Utopian Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Apr 17, 2011