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Christopher Z. Hobson

Written in the aftermath of the civil rights era’s expansive hopes, James Baldwin’s last novel, Just Above My Head (1979), examines a fundamental issue, the choice between hope and skepticism, or prophecy and doubt. Baldwin approaches this issue by questioning two cornerstone ideas of his fiction, the need for prophetic art and this art’s focus on anticipating a renovated society, often pictured in terms adapted from apocalyptic biblical texts and Gospel music lyrics. Just Above My Head is Baldwin’s fullest presentation of this kind of art and its linkage to apocalyptic hopes. He dramatizes these ideas in the art of his Gospel singer protagonist, particularly in a climactic scene of artistic dedication whose Gospel lyric envisions “tearing down the kingdom of this world.” Yet Baldwin also unsparingly questions these same ideas through plot and the blues-inflected skeptical-tragic consciousness of his narrator. Responding to a 1970s moment when hopes for transcendent justice seemed passé, Just Above My Head’s unique contribution is not to try to resolve the ideas it counterposes, but to face both the possible falseness of prophetic hope and our continuing need for it, and to present the necessity for choice in a final dream that holds the key to the novel’s meaning. In presenting this issue through a sustained double-voiced narrative that reexamines its author’s artistic practice and raises fundamental choices in outlook and conduct, Just Above My Head evidences the continuing artistic vitality of Baldwin’s late fiction.

James Baldwin Review
The tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

Tiger, true to Wilde’s definition of the cynic as ‘one who knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing’, Walsh says: ‘I’m not interested in what people think. I just do what I do and it’s very successful.’21 The Irish apocalypse and intimations of redemption In the premodern cosmology of traditional Irish Catholicism, the interior that matters is the interior of the soul. In modern Irish consumerism, it is the interior of the house. Walter Benjamin says, ‘The bourgeois interior is a dialectical image in which the reality of industrial capitalism is

in The end of Irish history?
David Colclough

60 Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis 4 Ethics and politics in the New Atlantis DAVID COLCLOUGH God forbid that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world; rather may he graciously grant to us to write an apocalypse or true vision of the footsteps of the Creator imprinted on his creatures.1 I The New Atlantis is a text about natural philosophy which seems to offer connections at almost every point with moral and political philosophy. The celebrated description of Salomon’s House raises the question of the place of the scientist in

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
Open Access (free)
What lovers want
Arlyn Diamond

possible inspiration was the king’s ‘Painted Chamber’, which was both bedroom and state apartment. The Chapel of St Stephen, like Melidor’s chamber, had elaborate paintings and stained glass windows. The most striking analogue to the details listed in the romance, however, can be found in the chapter house at Westminster, which contained a series of depictions of the Apocalypse. My study of Kathleen Scott’s index of British manuscript images reveals no comparable combination of subjects elsewhere, nor does A. Caiger-Smith’s catalogue of surviving English wall paintings

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Open Access (free)
Christopher Morgan

to the so-called ‘New Apocalypse’ poets of the 1940s who took their name from D. H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse (1939), a ‘radical critique of cultural and religious orthodoxy’, and whose principal practitioner was Dylan Thomas (Stringer 1996: 485). 6 Buuren discusses Thomas’s religious poetry as reflective of ascending stages of prayer, from dialogue to monologue to, finally, silence and waiting as ‘the ultimate alternative’ (1993: 140–1). 7 Such neglect is due, at least in part, to the fact that Destinations was issued in a special, limited edition of only three

in R. S. Thomas
Open Access (free)
Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

locations in the Philippines, the project was halted. The central problem of finding a distributor was a very tangible one, and it revealed much of the industry’s continuing attitudes towards any kind of contentious treatment of Vietnam or any recent history. Sagas of returning veterans had seen success for Cimino as well as for Hal Ashby in Coming Home (1978), and Francis Ford Coppola in his mesmeric Apocalypse Now (1979); but the trend had not really taken hold and doing a new, more realistic Vietnam story was proving a tough sell. Stone became directly involved in the

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Open Access (free)
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East
Michael McConnell

of nature and society which comprised peasant cosmology.26 Buildings DHR.indb 78 5/15/2014 12:51:09 PM The Nazi imagination of the East  79 constructed from wood and thatch were highly flammable, and even a small fire could destroy an entire community. Indeed, fire remained such an important collective concern that villagers often reserved their harshest punishments for members of the community who committed acts of arson.27 After the war, the anti-partisan operations were remembered as an apocalypse made worse by the fact that the majority of the victims were

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
Film festivals and the revival of Classic Hollywood
Julian Stringer

these examples are too numerous to note, just one should suffice: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) was restored for exhibition in 1992 by Photoplay Productions based on a negative presented by MGM. More interesting, perhaps, is the convergence of the studios’ interests with those of related institutions. 1992 also saw the public arrival of the Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Classic Film

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
Reading Tomb Raider
Barry Atkins

problems (or ‘other people’) are best ‘resolved’ in that fashion memorably described by Harrison Ford’s pre-Indiana Jones character in Apocalypse Now (1979) as termination ‘with extreme prejudice’. Pacifism, or even kindness to chap2.p65 40 13/02/03, 16:36 Fantastically real: reading Tomb Raider 41 animals, has little place within this fictional world. In Tomb Raider, if it moves your best option is usually to kill it, and the expectation according to the internal logic of the game is that you should do so. If something does not move, and yet appears to differ from

in More than a game
Jerry Weinberger

a book containing all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, the Apocalypse, and some other books of the New Testament that were not at that time written. The book was accompanied by a letter from St Bartholomew in which the Apostle testified that whoever found the ark received peace and salvation from Jesus and the Father. A final ‘great miracle’ then took place when some Hebrews, Persians, and Indians, who at that time lived in Bensalem, were able to read the book and the letter as if they had been written in their own languages. Now, one of Bacon

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis