«Nothing to laugh»: ironic apocalypses of G. Morselli and M. P. Shiel

Francesco Sielo

Abstract


Dissipatio H. G. and The Purple Cloud are among the earliest manifestations, in both literatures, of “last man on Earth” tales and both display an unusual ironic mode, clearly against what will be usual in the in the apocalyptic-dystopian genre. Through a comparison between those elements of two text that have no equal in other literary works, this article aims to analyze the dynamics dystopia-apocalypse-utopia, from an ironic description of our world as dystopian, through the apocalypse, up to a possible utopian, new beginning. Among the common issues, the most meaningful is that the preservation of relics of past civilization becomes, in both authors, a destructive fury, that characters show against all human remains and especially against items of modern civilization. Ironic criticism of contemporary society became, in both authors, psychological will to summarize and then «parentesizzare», parenthesize, through an apocalyptic narration, every aspects of contemporanean culture, in order to reactivate an utopian imagery. 


Keywords


Shiel; Morselli; Apocalypse; Dystopia; Utopia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2199

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-20273

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