(An)Archiving after the Apocalypse: The Death Drive, Representation, and the Rise and Fall and Rise of Civilization in Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz

  • Ji Hyun Lee New York University


The notion of a nuclear apocalypse incites our imagination and terror as much as any biblical cataclysm—perhaps even more so, for, unlike the flood in Genesis or John’s vision of the end of the world in the Book of Revelation, a nuclear holocaust can be actuated by human hands. Certainly the prospect of a worldwide nuclear war influenced an entire generation of authors during the Cold War, including the American Walter M. Miller, Jr., who in 1959 wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz, a novel that envisions life after the ostensible end of the world—that is, after a devastating global nuclear war [read full article]...