35. Apocalyptic Gothic

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Arthur Redding

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch35

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Redding, A. (2013) Apocalyptic Gothic, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch35

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395



  • Apocalyptic;
  • Gothic;
  • Science Fiction;
  • Horror;
  • 20th century;
  • Disaster Films;
  • Dystopia;
  • Armageddon;
  • American Literature;
  • H. G. Wells


Surveying a range of texts, from turn-of-the century novels of the world's end and renewal to classic and contemporary disaster films, and providing brief glosses of key critical works, “Apocalyptic Gothic” emphasizes the overlapping genealogies of horror and science fiction genres in twentieth-century cultural production, arguing that, in the US, racial anxieties underlie spectacular fictions interrogating the status and fate of “the human.” Concluding with a brief comparative reading of two exemplary works of apocalyptic gothic, Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Denis Johnson's Fiskadoru, contemporary works in the now dominant genre offer contradictory visions of the imminent end of American Empire.