English Research Seminar Series
Time in the Contemporary Apocalyptic Imagination
As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Diletta de Cristofaro presents : 'Time in the Contemporary Apocalyptic Imagination'.
- From: Wednesday 9 November 2016, 1 pm
- To: Wednesday 9 November 2016, 2 pm
- Location: 101, Mary Ann Evans building, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
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As part of the School of Arts and Humanities English Research Seminar Series, Dr Diletta de Cristofaro presents: Time in the Contemporary Apocalyptic Imagination.
The lack of belief in the future, the idea that, as Douglas Coupland's JPod (2006) puts it, "we're all doomed," is central to contemporary post-apocalyptic fiction. Yet, while we generally think of the apocalypse as a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions and consequences, something which brings about a dystopian post-apocalyptic scenario, apocalypse etymologically denotes the revelation of a utopian teleology in history. Religious apocalyptic writings, such as the Book of Revelation, flourish at a time of crisis because their narratives seek to make sense of troubled periods by revealing that history is tending towards a final resolution, which paves the way for a utopian renewal. Considering novels like Cormac McCarthy's The Road (2006), Will Self's The Book of Dave (2006), Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods (2007), and David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (2004), this lecture explores the tension between the traditional apocalyptic paradigm and the contemporary apocalyptic imagination. I argue that contemporary post-apocalyptic fictions are essentially concerned with the critique of the apocalyptic conception of time, both in their content and in their formal features.