Bloch’s Utopian Imagination: Fictive Theories

  • Susan McManus
Part of the Studies in European Culture and History book series (SECH)


“What occurs,” Louis Marin asks, “if the foundation is not firm ground, but, as Bloch wrote, abyssal depth?”1 Through and with Nietzsche, I read the impossibility of any form of hypostatization. This is, I have suggested, intensely liberating; and indeed, for Nietzsche, this is the moment of possibility for “a new plot and potential for the Dionysian drama….”2 Nietzsche’s recognition was that we are always-already fictionalizing creatures (though often—most often—we have mistaken “our” fictions, or the restraining fictions of others, for truths). This understanding of fictions is, I suggest, beyond the epistemological, is temporal, and carries with it political and ethical implications. In a Stirnerian language, Nietzsche’s “spooks” do not dominate, but instead enable participation and creativity in the project of making worlds meaningful; a Kantian, hierarchical understanding is made lateral and plural, while the real is not reduced to simply the given or the possible. The present, in Nietzsche, was fissured, open.


Political Theory Political Project Utopian Imagination Abyssal Depth Political Alienation 
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© Susan McManus 2005

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  • Susan McManus

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