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The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English$
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Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620111

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620111.001.0001

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Coda: 11 September 2001, New York: Two Y2Ks

Coda: 11 September 2001, New York: Two Y2Ks

(p.273) Coda: 11 September 2001, New York: Two Y2Ks
The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

Brian McHale

Randall Stevenso

Edinburgh University Press

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

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