Critical Temporalities: Station Eleven and the Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel

De Cristofaro, Diletta (2018) Critical Temporalities: Station Eleven and the Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel. Open Library of Humanities, 4 (2). p. 37. ISSN 2056-6700

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This article examines Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014) in the context of the growing body of contemporary post-apocalyptic fictions and what I argue is their critique of the apocalyptic tradition. Traditional apocalyptic narratives reveal a utopian teleology to history, a conception of time that deeply informs western modernity and its metanarratives. The contemporary post-apocalyptic novel, instead, is not only predominantly dystopian but articulates temporalities critical of the apocalyptic model of history to make space for unwritten futures which are key to agency. I focus on three elements, which reflect central features of this body of writings – the critical appropriation of religious apocalyptic logic, the critique of utopian teleology, and non-linear narrative structures – and parallel Mandel’s novel with three other key texts of the genre, Douglas Coupland’s Player One (2010), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W800 Imaginative Writing
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2020 14:36
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:06

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