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Visions of Apocalypse

Representations of the End in French Literature and Culture


Edited By Leona Archer and Alex Stuart

Picturing the end of the world is one of the most enduring of cultural practices. The ways in which people of different historical periods conceive of this endpoint reveals a great deal about their imagination and philosophical horizons. This groundbreaking collection of essays offers an overview of the Apocalyptic imagination as it presents itself in French literature and culture from the thirteenth century to the present day. The contributors analyse material as diverse as medieval French biblical commentaries and twenty-first-century science fiction, taking in established canonical authors alongside contemporary figures and less well-known writers. The book also considers a vast range of other subject matter, including horror films, absurdist drama, critical theory, medieval manuscript illuminations and seventeenth-century theology. Moving from the sacred to the profane, the sublime to the obscene, the divine to the post-human, the volume opens up more than 750 years of French Apocalypticism to critical scrutiny.


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Acknowledgements ix List of Illustrations xi Leona Archer and Alex Stuart, with Daron Burrows Introduction 1 Part 1 Pre-1800 13 Daron Burrows ‘Vers la fin croistra la religion’: The End of the World According to the Medieval French Prose Apocalypse 15 Nigel Morgan Three French Fourteenth-Century Apocalypses as Reinterpretations of English Thirteenth-Century Predecessors 43 Adeline Lionetto-Hesters Ronsard’s Bergerie: From Pastoral Dream to Apocalyptic Reverie 69 Kathryn Banks Apocalypse and Literature in the Sixteenth Century: The Case of Rabelais and the Frozen Words 83 vi Nathan Parker Proselytism and Apocalypticism in England Before and After the Act of Toleration of 1689: The French Threat and a Lone Puritan 99 Part 2 1800–1945 111 Michel Arouimi Rimbaud’s Apocalypse: Founding Principles and Literary Repercussions (Bosco, Ramuz) 113 Marie Vélikanov Eschatology in the Poetry of Charles Péguy 127 Maria Manuel Lisboa This World is Not the Case: Apocalypse in J.H. Rosny Ainé 139 Jennifer Rushworth ‘Alors la résurrection aura pris fin’: Visions of the End in Proust’s A la Recherche du temps perdu 153 Crispin Lee Georges Bataille or the Theory and Fiction of Apocalyptic Visions 165 Part 3 Post-1945 177 Ana-Maria M’Enesti Dialectics of Apocalyptic Imagery in Eugène Ionesco’s Plays 179 vii Lara Cox Absurd Visions of the Apocalypse: Adamov, Arrabal and Ionesco and a Politics of Spectatorship for the Postmodern Age 191 Susannah Ellis Writing in the Aftermath: The Figure of the Untermensch in Antoine Volodine’s Des Anges mineurs 207 Tony Thorström The Corporeal Apocalypse: Antagonistic...

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