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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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Nigel Morgan, Three French Fourteenth-Century Apocalypses as Reinterpretations of English Thirteenth-Century Predecessors Fig. 1 The Censing of the Altar in Heaven (Getty Apocalypse, c. 1250– 1260), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, MS Ludwig III 1, f. 10v 55 Fig. 2 The Censing of the Altar in Heaven (Savoy Apocalypse of Galoys de Viry, c. 1360–1370), Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, MS lat. 688, f. 10v 56 Fig. 3 The Fourth and Fifth Angels Blow their Trumpets (Bodleian Apocalypse, c. 1260), Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Auct. D.4.17, f. 5r 59 Fig. 4 The Fourth and Fifth Angels Blow their Trumpets (Apocalypse, c. 1360–1380), John Rylands University Library, Manchester, MS lat. 19, f. 7r 60 Fig. 5 The Angel Summons the Birds (Apocalypse, c. 1270–1290), Lambeth Palace Library, London, MS 75, f. 45v 64 Fig. 6 The Angel Summons the Birds (Yates Thompson Apocalypse, c. 1370–1380), British Library, London, MS Yates Thompson 10, f. 33v 65 Adeline Lionetto-Hesters, Ronsard’s Bergerie: From Pastoral Dream to Apocalyptic Reverie Fig. 1 Hans Burgkmair, St John Altarpiece: St John the Evangelist in Patmos (central panel, 1518), wood, 153cm × 127cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich 81 Fig. 2 Jean Duvet, Illustration to the Apocalypse (1550s), engraving, British Museum, London 81

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