The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture

The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture Author: Maria Manuel Lisboa
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906924-50-8 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-906924-51-5 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-906924-52-2 £5.95

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An enthralling study on a compelling theme [...] This is a timely book for the uncertain times in which we live.
— Prof Peter W. Evans, Queen Mary, University of London

Our fear of the world ending, like our fear of the dark, is ancient, deep-seated and perennial. It crosses boundaries of space and time, recurs in all human communities and finds expression in every aspect of cultural production – from pre-historic cave paintings to high-tech computer games.

This book examines historical and imaginary scenarios of Apocalypse, the depiction of its likely triggers, and imagined landscapesin the aftermath of global destruction. Its discussion moves effortlessly from classic novels including Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, to blockbuster films such as Blade Runner, Armageddon and The Terminator. The author also takes into account religious doctrine, scientific research and the visual arts to create a penetrating, multi-disciplinary study that provides profound insight into one of Western culture’s darkest and most enduring preoccupations.

Since publication this book has been viewed over 5500 times (last updated November 2013).

Title: The End of the World. Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture
Lisboa, Maria Manuel
Publication date:
October 2011
Number of pages: xxv + 194
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21"
24 black and white
BIC Subject Codes: JFC (Cultural Studies), DS (Literature: History and Criticism), AP (Film, TV and Radio)
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-906924-50-8
ISBN Hardback: 978-1-906924-51-5
ISBN Digital (PDF): 978-1-906924-52-2
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 978-1-906924-61-4
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 978-1-906924-62-1
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0015

Copyright Information:

© 2011 Maria ManuelLisboa
Creative Commons License
The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture, by Maria Manuel Lisboa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Further details about CC-BY-NC-ND licenses are available at:



Chapter 1
Apocalypse Now and Again

Chapter 2
The World Gone M.A.D.

Chapter 3
And Then There Was Nothing: Is The End Ever Really The End?

Chapter 4
Falling out with Hal and Hester

Chapter 5
Dying of Happiness: Utopia at the End of this World

Libera Me, Domine, De Vita Æterna

Maria Manuel Lisboa
is Professor of Portuguese Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. She specialises in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Portuguese and Brazilian literature, focusing on gender and national identity. She has written four monographs, including one on renowned Portuguese artist Paula Rego, and another which won the Prémio do Grémio Literário in 2008. The End of the World: Apocalypse and its Aftermath in Western Culture is her first book to focus on literature and film in English.
This book is a tour de force, full of wonderful insights [...] Professor Lisboa is equally at ease when discussing a film like King Kong as when considering a fine point by Derrida, a dramatic passage from Beckett or a picture by Hieronymus Bosch. This is a timely book for the uncertain times in which we live. Its scholarly credentials are unquestionable, its erudition impressive, its analysis sharp and illuminating, and its expression elegant.
Peter W. Evans
Professor of Languages, Linguistics and Film
Queen Mary, University of London

There is a research feature about The End of the World on Cambridge University's website: Thinking the Unthinkable.