Apocalyptic Visions of the End of the World in the Fiction of H. G. Wells
When one considers the history of narrative depictions of world apocalypse in European literature, one cannot fail to reflect on the artistic use of the motif of the end of the world in the fiction of an English writer, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells (1866–1946). He is remembered as a man of letters but most prominently as a kind of a prophet of the epochs to come. This visionary aspect of Well’s writing is the reason for his being listed among the greatest writers of all times.1
In his fiction, Wells takes up the figurative way of depicting the imminent time to come by means of the symbolic scriptural images related to some global conflict, natural disaster or Judgement Day. Wells’s literary imagery plays with these motifs, expanding them into the whole repertoire of topoi of modern apocalyptic fiction. It is thus worthwhile to consider the literary shaping of Wells’s end-of-the-world topos and view it as the constituent of the author’s artistic search for the vehicle of successful popular fiction.
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