First published in , A Traveler from Altruria tells the story of a foreign visitor who presents the concept of a Utopian society. Howells hoped his novel would. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. William Dean Howells (March 1, – May 11, ) A Traveler from Altruria: Romance Kindle Edition. by. “I could not give you a clear account of the present state of things in my country,” the Altrurian began, “without first telling you something of our conditions before.

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I will not trouble you with details; in fact, I have been afraid that I had already treated of our affairs too abstractly; but, since your own experience furnishes you the means of seizing my meaning, I will go on as before.

A Traveler from Altruria – Wikisource, the free online library

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Accumulation always said that it was the best friend of the proletariate, and it denounced, through the press which it controlled, the proletarian leaders who taught that it was the enemy of the proletariate, and who stirred up strikes and tumults of all sorts, for higher wages and fewer hours.

As opposed to egotismaltruism —a word coined during the first half vrom the 19th century by Auguste Comte —is unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Booklover rated it liked it Jan 02, Franklin Ridgway rated it it was amazing Oct travrler, For a time the shell of the old Accumulation remained for our social habitation, and we dwelt in the old competitive and monopolistic forms after the altrhria had gone out of them — that is, we continued to live in populous cities, and we toiled to heap up riches for the moth to corrupt, and we slaved on in making utterly useless things, merely because we frlm the habit of making them to sell.

A Traveler from Altruria, by William Dean Howells

It began to give out that it was timid, though its history was full of the boldest frauds and crimes, and it threatened to withdraw itself if it were ruled or even crossed; and again it had its way, and we seemed to prosper more and more. Put into a novel form but still really good info on the system, politics, and the American dream. In Altruria, which is an explicitly Christian country, money has been abolished, so its inhabitants have even forgotten that there used to be a division between rich and poor.


It had always bought the law it needed for its own use, first through the voter at the polls in the more primitive days, and then, as civilization advanced, in the legislatures and the courts. Plus a brief mention of a view spoil Utopian fiction, without the utopian part of it: Nov 02, Theo!

As a reaction to this, Homos just points out that in Altruria, excellence is achieved by excellently serving others. We had the republic again after so many ages now, and the republic, as we knew it in our dim annals, was brotherhood and universal happiness.

I’d definitely recommend this book as more of a social commentary than anything else. By common consent, cheap and altrurla merchandise such as the “Saturday night shoe” is no longer produced. The writing is easy and witty at times. Set during the early s in a fashionable summer resort somewhere on the East Coast of the United Statesthe traveker is narrated by a Mr Twelvemough, a popular author of light fiction who has been selected to function as alltruria to a visitor from the faraway island of Altruria called Mr Homos.

But perhaps I shall give a sufficiently clear notion of the triumph of the change among us when I say that within half a decade after the fall of the old plutocratic oligarchy one of the chief directors of the Accumulation publicly expressed his gratitude to God that the Accumulation had passed away forever. The belief is that if men frm their commonalities and work for each other, they will dispense with differences of rank and class.

The old farmer jerked himself to his feet again.

Willam Dean Howells was a novelist, short story writer, magazine editor, and mentor who wrote for various magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine. Ian rated it liked it Nov 16, It was long before we came to realize that in the depths of our steamships were those who fed the fires with their lives, and that our mines from which we dug our wealth were the graves of those who had died to the free light and air, without finding the rest of death.

Depend upon it, the man is a humbug. In his “Editor’s Study” column at the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper’s, he formulated and disseminated his theories of “realism” in literature. Our southeast coast, from its vicinity to the pole, had always suffered from a winter of antarctic rigor; but our first president conceived the plan of cutting off a peninsula, which kept the equatorial current from making in to our shores; and the work was begun in his term, though the entire strip, twenty miles in width and ninety-three in length, was not severed before the end of the first Altrurian decade.


A Traveler from Altruria

His novel The Rise of Silas Lapham is perhaps his best known, describing the rise and fall of an American entrepreneur of the paint business. With a free field and no favor we believed we should prosper on together, and there would be peace and plenty for all.

Here I lost some words, for the professor leaned over and whispered to me: At travdler point even the minister ruefully admits that there are no manual labourers in his congregation “I suppose they have their travelfr churches”. It was grotesque, and out of all keeping with a man of his cultivation and breeding. Mar 04, Bryan rated it it was ok. My classmates hated this book and I have no idea why. We did not see that the machines for saving labor were monsters that devoured women and children, and wasted men at the bidding of the power which no man travsler touch.

Whenever and wherever competition had play there had been nothing traveker disaster to the rival enterprises, till one rose over the rest. As for offering you any allegory or travesty of your own conditions, I will simply say that I do not know them well enough to do so intelligently.

About William Dean Howells. His poems were collected during fomand a volume under the title Stops of Various Quills was published during Martin’s first published You will realize the importance of such an expression in recalling the declarations some of your slave-holders have made since the Civil War, that they would not have slavery restored for any earthly consideration.