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Variazioni sull'apocalisse

Un percorso nella cultura occidentale dal Novecento ai giorni nostri

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Edited By Alessandro Baldacci, Anna Małgorzata Brysiak and Tomasz Skocki

L’apocalisse, nelle sue innumerevoli forme e interpretazioni, costituisce uno dei temi cardine della cultura e dell’immaginario collettivo dell’ultimo secolo, in cui ritorna costantemente l’idea della fine e del «dopo la fine». Il volume si propone di indagare, in ottica comparata e interdisciplinare, le più diverse narrazioni e rappresentazioni apocalittiche del XX e XXI secolo, spaziando dalla letteratura al cinema, dall’arte alla filosofia, fino alle serie televisive contemporanee.

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“A heap of broken images”: Frammenti di apocalisse in The Waste Land e in Underworld (Giulia Magnetti)

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Giulia Magnetti

“A heap of broken images”: Frammenti di apocalisse in The Waste Land e in Underworld

Abstract: The article focuses on the recurrence of apocalyptic images in T.S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland and in Don DeLillo’s postmodern novel Underworld. The imagery of horror and desolation is deeply connected with the perception of living in a modern and fragmented world on the verge of catastrophe – the spiritual crisis following the Great War and the fear of the atomic bomb in the 1950s – which is feared and desired at the same time, in order to give history some sense. In the Apocalypse, in fact, the scenery of chaos is followed by the promise of the regeneration that was announced by the death of Christ; nevertheless, in the sterile worlds portrayed by Eliot and DeLillo no hope is left: humanity is corrupted and incapable of finding a way out of the crisis. Through some of the most poignant quotations from the two works, the article suggests some similarities between them, focusing, in particular, on the images of waste and the desert, symbols of a crisis which anticipates an ending which is not likely to come.

Keywords: apocalypse, T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, Don DeLillo, Underworld, waste, desert

“Nobody knows the date or the hour”1. La sentenza di biblica memoria proviene da una delle tante voci che si fondono in Underworld di Don DeLillo, espressione del disincanto di un mondo sull’orlo del baratro, costituito...

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