Chapter

Coda: 11 September 2001, New York: Two Y2Ks

Brian McHale and Randall Stevenso

in The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748620111
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651863 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620111.003.0023
Coda: 11 September 2001, New York: Two Y2Ks

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This concluding chapter tries to determine how a century ends, showing that 9/11 and Y2K present two different end-points and thresholds, one anticipated and artificial, and the other unanticipated. It also gives two alternative ways of thinking about beginnings and ends in cultural history. The discussion notes that the interwar and Edwardian ‘long weekends’ were read in light of future crises, and that Malcolm Lowry's novel is located firmly in another tradition of twentieth-century literature. It shows that this particular tradition of literature imagines the future through apocalyptic scenarios.

Keywords: end of century; 9/11; Y2K; cultural history; long weekends; Malcolm Lowry; twentieth-century literature; apocalyptic scenarios

Chapter.  3571 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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