AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 The Poetics of Size : Rendering Apocalyptic Scale in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article examines the textual rendering of space in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957) and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006), two novels depicting the ancient trope of apocalypse. Contributing to the study of geography in literature, it argues that these authors manipulate perspective, language and content to distort the familiar shape of spatial units, creating story worlds that resonate with a crisis of scale. Inverting the spatial enlargement produced by globalisation, they depict societies ruined by a global network they cannot “cognitively map.” The consideration of scale is crucial to fully understanding the sense of crisis apparent in contemporary apocalyptic fiction, which manifests, in our era of global connectedness, as an anxiety about the extent of human activity.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Colloquy : Text Theory Critique Un)Ethical Futures : Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction no. 35/36 December Zachary Kendal (editor), Aisling Smith (editor), 2018 15402097 2018 periodical issue

    This special double issue of Colloquy: Text, Theory, Critique arises from the (Un)Ethical Futures: Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction conference, held 15–17 December 2017 at the Monash University Law Chambers in Melbourne. The conference was organised by an interdisciplinary team of postgraduate students from Monash University and the University of Warwick, including Colloquy editors. Participants explored a wide range of topical issues in science fiction and utopian studies, with a strong emphasis on the ethical dimensions of these genres. Andrew Milner, Jacqueline Dutton and Nick Lawrence gave keynote speeches and participated in an introductory panel, with Meg Mundell, Sascha Morrell and Evie Kendal coming on board to run interactive workshops. In addition to these, the conference hosted 59 research papers and six creative writing presentations, given by postgraduate students, early career researchers, established academics, and independent researchers. The conference saw almost 100 attendees from around the world and feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with strong social media engagement on Twitter under the hashtag #utopias2017. (Zachary Kendal and Aisling Smith : Editorial introduction)

    pg. 82-98
Last amended 11 Jan 2019 10:07:13
82-98 The Poetics of Size : Rendering Apocalyptic Scale in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach and Cormac McCarthy’s The Roadsmall AustLit logo Colloquy : Text Theory Critique