(Im)Possibility of Utopia: Aldous Huxley and Michel Houellebecq

Uzelac, Maša
This thesis examines the connections between ambivalence and Utopianism through the writings of Aldous Huxley and Michel Houellebecq. By conducting a comprehensive analysis of the authors’ seminal works, this study aims to uncover the concept of ambivalent Utopia as a manifestation of conflicting emotions, desires, and perspectives, highlighting the complexities of human psyche, as well as the diversity of cultural norms that shape moral and behavioural patterns in society. The concept of Utopia becomes entangled with complex and often ambivalent desires and yearnings, fluctuating between attraction and repulsion. Through Huxley’s and Houellebecq’s works, the study uncovers the psychological, social, and cultural forces shaping Utopian visions and the challenges of reconciling these visions with human realities. Ambivalence is revealed as a crucial lens through which both Utopian and Anti Utopian tendencies can be critically examined, thereby providing a nuanced exploration of the mechanisms of human desire while acknowledging its ontological, epistemological, and ethical limitations. The thesis also re-evaluates the concept of Utopia by foregrounding its aesthetic and ethical significance as opposed to its viability. Employing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, this research draws from philosophy, ethics, sociology, anthropology, geography, architecture, and aesthetics. The results of this examination offer novel insights into the topic and highlight the complex and nuanced nature of Utopian imagination.
NUI Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland