Thomas the Baboon and Utopia

Constructing a Realistic Future

  • Natalya Bekhta Tampere Institute for Advanced Study
Keywords: utopia, satire, narrative structure, Ivan Semesiuk, Russian-Ukrainian war


This article reissues a call for the recuperation of a particular, non-substantive, approach to the category of Utopia in the current cultural debates about the future. I examine the usefulness of Utopia as a future-making category via a discussion of how Utopian desire manifests itself in the narrative structure of the literary text and what kind of formal and political consequences this manifestation implies. My case study, a prominent example of Ukrainian post-2014 fiction, Ivan Semesiuk’s satire Farshrutka (2016) presents a critical-satirical Utopian reaction to the realities and futural repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war, formalized in a literary form.