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-disciplinarystudy that provides profound insight into one of Western culture’s darkest and most enduring preoccupations.
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.
Prof Peter W. Evans
Queen Mary, University of London
Apocalypse Now and Again
The World Gone M.A.D.
And Then There Was Nothing: Is The End Ever Really The End?
Falling out with Hal and Hester
Dying of Happiness: Utopia at the End of this World
Libera Me, Domine, De Vita Æterna