Approaching Apocalypse: Unveiling Revelation in Victorian Writing
Bucknell University Press, 2007 - 228 pages
A great deal of Victorian literature recycles themes, images, and language from apocalyptic literature, in what might be described as an affinity with the genre. With this affinity in mind, Approaching Apocalypse examines certain structuring oppositions that shape apocalyptic literature, and sets out to decode their significance for Victorian writing. They are: human/inhuman, desert/city, veiled/revealed, time/eternal, and this world/other world. The five main chapters of the book each deal with one of these opposites, reading a wide range of Victorian texts, including novels, poems, plays, sermons, and other less easily categorized texts. At the heart of each chapter is an extended reading of one or two texts selected for their particularly telling insights into the relationship between Victorian writing and the Book of Revelation.
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Page 35 - And I stood upon the sand of the sea; and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Page 35 - And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne and round about the throne were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Page 35 - And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Page 29 - And, moved thro' life of lower phase, Result in man, be born and think, And act and love, a closer link Betwixt us and the crowning race Of those that, eye to eye, shall look On knowledge; under whose command Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand Is Nature like an open book; No longer half-akin to brute, For all we thought and loved and did, And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed Of what in them is flower and fruit; 822 Whereof the man, that with me trod This planet, was a noble type.