Writing the Apocalypse: Historical Vision in Contemporary U.S. and Latin American Fiction

Overview

This is a comparative literary study of apocalyptic themes and narrative techniques in the contemporary North and Latin American novel. Zamora explores the history of the myth of apocalypse, from the Bible to medieval and later interpretations, and relates this to the development of American apocalyptic attitudes. She demonstrates that the symbolic tensions inherent in the apocalytic myth have special meaning for postmodern writers. Zamora focuses her examination on the relationship between the temporal ends and ...
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Overview

This is a comparative literary study of apocalyptic themes and narrative techniques in the contemporary North and Latin American novel. Zamora explores the history of the myth of apocalypse, from the Bible to medieval and later interpretations, and relates this to the development of American apocalyptic attitudes. She demonstrates that the symbolic tensions inherent in the apocalytic myth have special meaning for postmodern writers. Zamora focuses her examination on the relationship between the temporal ends and the narrative endings in the works of six major novelists: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Thomas Pynchon, Julio Cortazar, John Barth, Walker Percy, and Carlos Fuentes. Distinguished by its unique, cross-cultural perspective, this book addresses the question of the apocalypse as a matter of intellectual and literary history. Zamora's analysis will enlighten both scholars of North and Latin American literature and readers of contemporary fiction.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a model of comparative method for its imaginative conception of apocalypse as myth, structural device, and narrative strategy...Indeed it is by setting side by side texts from both the United States and Latin America that Zamora in this magnificent study calls our attention to the pervasive international significance of the myth of the apocalypse in twentieth century writing." Hispanic Studies

"Lois Parkinson Zamora has produced a genuinely profound study of the topic, beginning with an investigation of biblical apocalypse that leads her to some extremely valuable insights. She is then able to apply those insights fruitfully to the works of several key writers: Gabriel García Márquez, Thomas Pynchon, Julio Cortázar, John Barth, Walker Percy, and Carlos Fuentes." World Literature Today

"Lois Parkinson Zamora has produced a genuinely profound study of the topic, beginning with an investigation of biblical apocalypse that leads her to some extremely valuable insights. She is then able to apply those insights fruitfully to the works of several key writers: Gabriel García Márquez, Thomas Pynchon, Julio Cortázar, John Barth, Walker Percy, and Carlos Fuentes." William L. Siemens, World Literature Today

"Writing the Apocalypse is a capacious, broadminded, scholarly, and keenly perceptive work that deserves the attention of all those interested in the comparative study of the literature of the Americas. Zamora joins a small but significant group of scholars striving to bring their field into the forefront of the humanities." Michael Valdez Moses, American Literature

"Students of American literature studies can benefit greatly from such broad yet detailed analyses, which place the literature of both hemispheres within a common trajectory. Zamora has performed a valuable service in drawing a comparative scheme which not only takes note of the differences between the cultures, but actually avails itself of these contrasts in order to reinforce the underlying continuity, the cultural myths which formed, and which continue to shape, the bases of Western thought." S. E. de Carvalho, Romance Quarterly

"Lois Parkinson Zamora has produced a genuinely profound study of the topic, beginning with an investigation of biblical apocalypse that leads her to some extremely valuable insights. She is then able to apply those insights fruitfully to the works of several key writers: Gabriel García Márquez, Thomas Pynchon, Julio Cortázar, John Barth, Walker Percy, and Carlos Fuentes." William L. Siemens, World Literature Today

"Writing the Apocalypse is a genuinely comparative study of the Americas and the apocalyptic aspirations introduced to the New World by European settlers... Lois Parkinson Zamora is to be commended for writing a challenging, provocative, learned study, equally relevant to North America and the Southern continent." Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies No. 31

"Students of American literature studies can benefit greatly from such broad yet detailed analyses, which place the literature of both hemispheres within a common trajectory. Zamora has performed a valuable service in drawing a comparative scheme which not only takes note of the differences between the cultures, but actually avails itself of these contrasts in order to reinforce the underlying continuity, the cultural myths which formed, and which continue to shape, the bases of Western thought." S. E. de Carvalho, Romance Quarterly

"...rarely do we find a work of this caliber with such depth of scholarly grounding and breadth of critical approach....Lois Parkinson Zamora's Writing the Apocalypse both informs convincingly and suggests the possibility of further studies in a similar vein....Every Hispanist who is concerned with the dynamics of contemporary literature in Latin America--not to mention the U.S.--should read this excellent work." Hispanic Review

"Writing the Apocalypse is a genuinely comparative study of the Americas and the apocalyptic aspirations introduced to the New World by European settlers... Lois Parkinson Zamora is to be commended for writing a challenging, provocative, learned study, equally relevant to North America and the Southern continent." Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies No. 31

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521426916
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: the apocolyptic vision and fictions of historic desire; 2. Apocalypse and human time in the fiction of Gabriel Garcia Marquez; 3. Apocolypse and entropy: physics and the fiction of Thomas Pynchon; 4. Art and revolution in the fiction of Julio Cortazar; 5. The apocalypse of style: John Barth's self-consuming fiction; 6. Apocolypse and renewal: Walker Percy and the US South; 7. Beyond apocalypse: Carlos Fuente's Terra Nostra; 8. Individual and communal conclusions; Notes; Index.
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