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The Black Atlantic as Dystopia: Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots

The Black Atlantic as Dystopia: Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots Judie Newman In an interview Paul Gilroy acknowledged the utopian nature of his thinking, not (as might be thought) as the utopianism of a tradition, Marxist or otherwise, but in relation to utopian thinkers in the philosophical sense: "I have been very influenced by Ernst Bloch, his conceptions of utopia, and particularly his understanding of the relationship between music and utopia and also his sense of the place of the fragments--the shards of utopian thinking in everyday life."1 Bloch expanded the concept of utopia from the narrower image of a description of an alternative society designed to evoke or facilitate a better way of life to a broader understanding that included such phenomena as daydreams, religious visions, myths of a golden age, circuses, fairy tales, glossy magazines, and travel literature. For Bloch, the capacity for hope is a prime source of human creativity, dynamism, and progress and is part of our capacity for imagination.2 Similarly for Gilroy, utopias are thought experiments that restore to people the ability to imagine a better or a different world to the one that they inhabit. He poses the question, "How do we cultivate the ability to do what Bloch called dreaming forward http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

The Black Atlantic as Dystopia: Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 49 (2) – May 10, 2012

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
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1528-4212
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Abstract

Judie Newman In an interview Paul Gilroy acknowledged the utopian nature of his thinking, not (as might be thought) as the utopianism of a tradition, Marxist or otherwise, but in relation to utopian thinkers in the philosophical sense: "I have been very influenced by Ernst Bloch, his conceptions of utopia, and particularly his understanding of the relationship between music and utopia and also his sense of the place of the fragments--the shards of utopian thinking in everyday life."1 Bloch expanded the concept of utopia from the narrower image of a description of an alternative society designed to evoke or facilitate a better way of life to a broader understanding that included such phenomena as daydreams, religious visions, myths of a golden age, circuses, fairy tales, glossy magazines, and travel literature. For Bloch, the capacity for hope is a prime source of human creativity, dynamism, and progress and is part of our capacity for imagination.2 Similarly for Gilroy, utopias are thought experiments that restore to people the ability to imagine a better or a different world to the one that they inhabit. He poses the question, "How do we cultivate the ability to do what Bloch called dreaming forward

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: May 10, 2012

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