Abstract

Theodor Herzl once contemptuously remarked that he regards Freiland as a joke. This statement surprises if one compares his novel Altneuland (Oldnewland) to Theodor Hertzka's Freiland. To say the least, both utopias share many themes and narratives structures. While Altneuland (1902) became the world-renowned manifesto of Zionism, Freiland (1890) cherished popularity only at the time of its publication. Both novels are products of Vienna's fin-de-siècle modernism. Herzl's utopia is set in Palestine, Hertzka places Freiland in the empty space of East Africa. His vision of a new civilization in Africa coincided with European colonialism, nationalism and the surge of anti-Semitism in Vienna. In the following, the essay investigates if Hertzka merely criticizes the culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna, or, if he produces a unique alternative?

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-9648
Print ISSN
1045-991X
Pages
pp. 74-90
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-17
Open Access
No
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