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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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Notes on Contributors


Leona Archer studied at King’s College, Cambridge as a doctoral student, having previously completed a BA and MA at the University of Exeter. Her PhD thesis is entitled ‘Gender and Space in the Old French Lancelot-Grail Cycle’ and presents a critical examination of the construction of gender roles and spaces of social practice in this thirteenth-century Arthurian romance cycle. Leona’s principal research interests are twelfth- and thirteenth-century Old French texts, Arthurian literature and gender theory. She is currently working as a lectrice d’anglais at Université Paul Valéry Montpellier III. Michel Arouimi is currently Maître de Conférences in general and com- parative literature at the Université du Littoral and member of the editorial board of Théâtres du Monde. He is the author of six monographs, including two comparative Apocalypse studies: L’Apocalypse sur scène (2002), which explores apocalyptic themes in contemporary popular culture; and Les Apocalypses secrètes: Shakespeare, Eichendorf f, Nerval, Rimbaud, Claudel, Conrad, Tchekhov, Ramuz, Bosco, Carlo Levi (2007). His other publica- tions discuss a vast array of modern world literature and culture, includ- ing Kafka, Melville and Ernst Jünger. It is in Rimbaud’s poetry, however, and its relationship to a host of other authors, that his greatest specialism lies, and he has published a monograph (Vivre Rimbaud, 2010) and many articles on the subject. Kathryn Banks completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge, before going on to lecture at King’s College London. She spent time as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard and...

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