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Apocalypse Never: Walter Benjamin, the Anthropocene, and the Deferral of the End

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-01, 00:02 authored by Gregory MarksGregory Marks

It is the argument of this paper that this vision of an end to human history that is at once finished and unfulfilled is not an innate fact of our ecological predicament, but is rather symptomatic of our present historical juncture of late capitalism—which is itself interminably caught on the verge of global climate catastrophe but seemingly without alternatives. To attribute the ecological disasters of a historically novel economic system to the geological epoch of humanity itself risks reifying that system into something ahistorically innate to human nature, and therefore without changeability or recourse. The narrative of the Anthropocene is thus characterised by a mournful order of time—which shrinks from historical consciousness and envisages humanity as fossils in the making.

History

Publication Date

2021-03-01

Journal

SFRA Review

Volume

51

Issue

2

Pagination

184-190

Publisher

Science Fiction Research Association

ISSN

2641-2837

Rights Statement

© The Author, 2021. Published under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

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