Thursday, 11 October 2007

Maps for happiness

I'd underestimated what Wilde was saying about utopia ... famously in The Soul of Man Under Socialism he claimed that 'a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.' Without really thinking about it I'd assumed that last word was standing in for something like '...orienting themselves towards' or '...dreaming of reaching one day.' But, no, Wilde is clear: landing. Utopia needs to be included in our maps not so that we can set our bearings, but because we keep stumbling across it--and, presumably, keep stumbling on, leaving it behind.

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