Exploring the Postmodern Apocalyptic Narrative: A Jamesonian Reading of Etel Adnan’s Master of the Eclipse

Keywords: Etel Adnan, Master of the Eclipse, Frederic Jameson, Historical Deafness, Schizophrenia


The tale of the apocalypse is considered a current subject of debate that has captivated the attention of postmodern writers. Similarly, in a postmodern atmosphere, Etel Adnan’s masterpiece, Master of the Eclipse (2009), problematises the traditional apocalyptic narrative. Thus, this study sheds light on the postmodern deconstructive aspect of Adnan’s literary text, involving how the author challenges the traditional apocalyptic narrative by foregrounding postmodern apocalyptic subjects. This last includes constant violence, international terror, the downfall of communities, and the subjection of human beings to world crises. These themes subvert the traditional apocalyptic narrative that establishes order, linearity and harmony and calls for Utopia. This study also highlights the collapse of historical metanarrative by drawing upon Frederic Jameson’s notion of ‘historical deafness’ and its consequences on the postmodern subject, including ‘schizophrenia’ and the ‘waning of affect’. It also examines the role of art, a remedy presented as a counter-response to turbulent postmodern times. It transpired that the postmodern vision advocates historical authenticity and reflects a pessimistic society’s experiences of despair and the loss of reality.


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