London: George Routledge & Sons.
Translation by H. J. Stenning of DIE INSELN DER WEISHEIT (1922).Octavo, pp. [i-iv] v [vi] 1-322, original blue paper covered boards. edges of some leaves lightly foxed, otherwise in good condition; in original blue publisher's paper covered boards, spine faded, blue lettering, corners bumped, head and foot of spine very slightly worn; First English edition of Alexander Moszkowski's dystopian satire. Moszkowski imagines a visit to a series of South East Asian islands which each subscribe unreservedly to a philosophical school of thought. These utopias are absurd: people's notions of philosophical purity prevent them from appreciating life's variety, and even emotions, like love, which are non-philosophically useful. Contradictions ensue: on the Platonic island the young read Homer and Hesiod to learn classical languages whilst being taught to despise the deeds of which the poets tell as unproductive. Utopias therefore eliminate the inefficiencies and experiences which make life enjoyable, thus, nine-tenths of all philosophy whatsoever is sheer nonsense .The work reflects the intellectual climate of the 1920s. "A marvelously eclectic utopian satire that set out to demonstrate that all political policies, if taken to extremes, have absurd consequences. The parody of technological utopianism is particularly sharp, and the book, frequently very funny, succeeds in making its point." - Anatomy of Wonder (1987) 2-81. Anatomy of Wonder (2004) II-790. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1573. Lewis, Utopian Literature, pp. 136-7. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 162. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 824. Teitler and Locke (2013) 895. Bleiler (1978), p. 144. Reginald 10471. Bloch (2002) 2190. Moszkowski was crucial in popularising the Theory of General Relativity through a 1920 biography of his friend Albert Einstein. Here he introduces an island of relativity, in which registers of births and deaths are not kept because these presuppose time determinations, which had been recognized as insubstantial . The climate of invention also finds mobile phones on the mechanized island of Sarragalla. Moszkowski explicitly attacks contemporary Europe through his satire. The Allied blockade of Germany during the war, which caused malnourishment and suffering, is directly compared to the state-enforced abortion of children conceived by elderly parents on the Platonic island. OCLC returns 1 copy at the British Library, COPAC finds 6 further copies at Senate House, Oxford, Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin, the London Library, and the National Library of Wales.