Introduction: Descent and Return — the katabatic imagination

Rachel Falconer

in Hell in Contemporary Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780748617630
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651733 | DOI:
Introduction: Descent and Return — the katabatic imagination

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This chapter introduces the concept of Hell and the ‘katabatic imagination’, which is a worldview that conceives of selfhood as the narrative construct of an infernal journey and return. It identifies Dante Alighieri as the most influential katabatic writer on contemporary Western literature, and looks at the development of the katabatic narrative from the classical period to modern times. Several descent narratives are presented in the final section of the chapter.

Keywords: Hell; katabatic imagination; Dante Alighieri; katabatic writer; Western literature; katabatic narrative; descent narrative

Chapter.  5202 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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