The Utopian consists of two intertwined storylines unfolding in two radically different settings. First, the story of Mesmer, who in 2411 sets out on his Journey, a rite of passage which is to last a year and a day, in a gloriously pansexual, matriarchal, and feminist utopia, told in the third person by a gentle and guileless narrator. The second storyline is set in Britain in 1979 and concerns Dr. Reed, a patriarchal and self-obsessed psychoanalyst, and his analysand, a young man called Mesmer Partridge, told in the first person by Reed in the voice of a spoilt, sarcastic, hostile curmudgeon. The two narratives entertain a complex, twisting relationship to one another, moving in all kinds of configuration, in which they intermittently appear to parallel, oppose, double, and subvert one another. Michael Westlake’s novel, first published in 1989, is thematically rich, weaving theories of politics, psychoanalysis, and feminism together in stylish and dazzlingly imaginative prose. Contains a new introduction from Toril Moi and an afterword from Andrew Collier.
“Mesmerizing in its brilliance and suggestion, The Utopian is a text we do not really know how to read. It confirms that Westlake is the most interesting novelist writing in England today.” Antony Easthope, Textual Practice
Release Date: Feb 15 2016. Available from all booksellers and usual online retailers. ISBN: 9789810967659.
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