What is Callenbach’s Ecotopia?

1.3.1 Meanings of the Word ECOTOPIA

The word Ecotopia was not originated by Callenbach. He heard the word “ecotopia” on the radio while he was writing the novel (Callenbach interviewed 2003). Callenbach indicates in the preface of the book that “ecotopia” is rooted in the Greek components “eco” and “topo,” giving it the meaning of “Home Place” in English. In addition, he states in his afterword in ECOTOPIA’s 30th anniversary edition that “Ecotopia does not portray a utopia—an imaginary country where everything is entirely perfect forever (.. .we know that homes are not perfect forever)” (Callenbach 2004).

Utopia is also based on Greek with the words “U” and “Topo” meaning “No” and “Place.” So utopia means “a place which does not exist in reality” and it evolves into an “ideal place.” Both Ecotopia and utopia have the same suffix, “topia,” and it might be natural for some people to understand Ecotopia as an ecological utopia (Table 3.2). Accordingly, Callenbach’s Ecotopia should be dif­ferentiated from a utopia.