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In the Ruins of Civilizations

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

In the Ruins of Civilizations

In the Ruins of Civilizations

So, I have been – rather insistently and in fact, quite rightfully so – informed that I have yet to published more than a blurry photo of a box of books containing copies of In the Ruins of Civilizations (and which was only on twitter). This lack of a post is not due to the fact that I don’t want to write anything about my book, but rather that I always had this vague plan of making a really concise and yet well-written, shiny and comprehensive blog post about it, eclipsing all my other blog posts. Which, yeah … good luck with that. All my precision and conciseness and tweaking of sentences and passages and words and structures and … stuff … seems to go into my academic writing, and when I post to my blog I just … I don’t know … post to my blog? In a more meandering and rambly and slice-of-life kind of way?

(And so much for conciseness, I hear you mumble…).

But, yes, there’s this book. Which is also my PhD. That I wrote. And defended. And that then got published. And came out back in March. And which you most likely missed out on, newswise, as, like I said, all I did was tweet a photo of a box of books, as term had just started and things were reeeally busy and I wanted to make a powerfully eloquent entry.

This is what the back cover has to say about it:

Post-apocalyptic novels tell stories set after a global catastrophe has led to the ‘end of the world’. But only in the rarest of cases does the ‘end of the world’ actually mean the end of the planet (or even of the human race), and it is on what remains after the end of the world that this book focuses on. What is left of the world from ‘before’? How are these remnants depicted and how do survivors interact with them? What influence does the state of the physical world have on these interactions? How are these processes narrated, and on which narrative level?

To answer these questions, In the Ruins of Civilizations concisely covers the history and appeal of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic tales and then focuses on four post-apocalyptic novels published in the 21st century – Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Bernard Beckett’s Genesis, and Robert C. Wilson’s Julian Comstock – a story of 22nd Century America. Its theoretical approach is based on the work of ruin theorists, analyses of the depiction of non-functional objects in literature, ecocriticism, socio-geographical readings of landscapes and wildernesses, as well as on theories of narrative levels, narrative communication and space in narrative. It shows that the interplay between narrative structures, world constructions, corporeal objects and physical realities forms the fundamental embodying locus of post-apocalyptic novels.

It was published by the Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, and if you really want one, you can get a copy there. (I mean, that is, I’d be delighted if you wanted one, but it *is* more a book for the McCarthian scholar and ecocritics and P-A geeks and people interested in ruin theories than for, I don’t know, the fluffy chillaxing afternoon escapist reader).

And that is that – I don’t usually post about my academic writing/life on here much, but here you go.

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One Response to “In the Ruins of Civilizations”

  1. Josh Says:

    Finally! (*insists some more*)

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