Study Guide

The Utopianists

This particular collection of individuals got together on a bi-monthly basis and worked till dawn's early light trying to find a way to simultaneously reject the modern world as they knew it and formulate some alternative. They lived to enact a complete rejection of bourgeois society, but they soon realized that such ideas were too utopian even for them.

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Novelist Extraordinaire

Lukács famously wrote in The Theory of the Novel that Dostoevsky wrote about utopia. We're not talking about Sir Thomas More's ideas of Utopia; this is Dostoevsky's take on the theme. The kind of utopia Dostoevsky wrote about was sort of a Christian socialist utopia in which people were no longer alienated by capitalism. It was more a way of living than an actual place. Don't get Dostoevsky started on Marxism, though—back in 1860s Russia, Dostoevsky thought that sort of thing looked suspiciously like a dystopia.

Ernst Bloch
In-House Musician/Philosopher

Ernst couldn't talk enough about Utopia; he even wrote a book called The Spirit of Utopia, which the group loved to conduct close studies on as if it were God's own scripture. Part of Ernst's whole utopian thing was about being hopeful—in a time when few had hope. He spread the word about pacifism, so that when people got really worked up about utopias, he calmed them down with soothing words about the possibilities of democracy, an end to depersonalization and alienation, and a sense of home for all people.