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Apocalyptic Narcissism and the Difficulty of Mourning

Mussgnug, F; (2015) Apocalyptic Narcissism and the Difficulty of Mourning. Between , 5 (10) pp. 1-17. 10.13125/2039-6597/2214. Green open access

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Abstract

In this article I examine how death and loss feature in recent apocalypse fiction and suggest that, in a genre mostly concerned with finitude, there appears to be paradoxically little room for expressions of mourning. I assess contemporary attitudes towards mortality through the writings of Philippe Ariès, Zygmunt Bauman, Simon Critchley and others, and propose a psychoanalytic reading of solitary survivor narrative, inspired by the work of Martin Jay. In the final part of the article, I turn to Sigmund Freud and René Girard to explore the relation between apocalyptic teleology, melancholy, and the expectation of global catastrophe.

Type: Article
Title: Apocalyptic Narcissism and the Difficulty of Mourning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.13125/2039-6597/2214
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2214
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The authors. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), authors retain the copyright, allowing anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute and/or copy their contribution. The work must be properly attributed to its author.
Keywords: death; mourning; apocalypse; Sigmund Freud; Rene Girard
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503528
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