The New Apocalypse: Articulating Postmodern Nightmares in Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Romeo Pellicer, Andrea
Collado Rodríguez, Francisco (dir.)

Universidad de Zaragoza, FFYL, 2014
Filología Inglesa y Alemana department, Filología Inglesa area

Graduado en Estudios Ingleses

Abstract: The cultural and philosophical effects of postmodernism have transformed the fictional representations of apocalypse in a decisive—and unprecedented—way. This study focuses on how two contemporary post-apocalyptic novels, Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, combine the traditional ethos of the subgenre with the consequences of the new postmodern condition. As a detailed analysis evidences, both narratives show the displacement of the End to a Godless and meaningless world—an Eliotian physical and emotional waste land—where characters face metaphysical orphanage and epistemological uncertainty. This master dissertation contends that both works explore which is the position of language for a group of survivors doomed to inhabit the resulting post-apocalyptic and poststructuralist abyss. Ultimately, both novels introduce the notion of trauma to give new relevance to the communicative aspect of language —a fact which poses an idea of universal resonance: that, in this new postmodern Armageddon era, only dialoguing and connecting with others can lead to survival.

Tipo de Trabajo Académico: Trabajo Fin de Grado

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