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  1. Ideas
15 February 2024

The man who lived at the end of history

Why the 20th-century intellectual Ernesto de Martino believed that we should prepare for the apocalypse.

By Nicolas Guilhot

There are only so many ways one can feel about the end of the world, especially if it seems imminent. “From a psychological point of view,” Susan Sontag suggested, “the imagination of disaster does not greatly differ from one period in history to another.” Ingrained in the human psyche, what she called the “unassimilable terrors” of an impending apocalypse may be impervious to the vicissitudes of history and limited in number, but their social and political manifestations are not. The “radical disaffiliation from society” that such terrors trigger can take a variety of forms. One is the catatonic passivity that in 1945 had reportedly befallen the inhabitants of Berlin who believed Hitler would kill them all because their defeat in war had made them unworthy of living.

But another is the revolutionary tremblor of millenarian enthusiasms, such as the 17th-century exodus of east European Jews who left their settlements to join in Palestine Sabbatai Zevi, the Smyrna rabbi who had proclaimed himself to be the messiah. In the dystopian imagination Sontag sensed more of a Berlin syndrome than the premise of a redemptive exodus, no matter how deceptive. But what was it that made the apocalyptic culture of the time such an inadequate response to existential anxieties?

“The Imagination of Disaster” essay was published in 1965, but Sontag was not alone in pondering this question. The critic Frank Kermode gave a series of lectures at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania – later published as The Sense of an Ending – about the stories we tell ourselves in our efforts to tame the terrors of the end and somehow make sense of our finite lives. Also in 1965, Sontag’s erstwhile mentor and former husband Philip Rieff sent off his book The Triumph of the Therapeutic, a diagnosis of the crisis of the beliefs that “consoled for the misery of living” and of the symbols that offset the anxieties of the end, in particular the Christian symbol. Yet, the most fascinating exploration of the inadequacy of our apocalyptic imagination was a book that was never written because its author, the Italian anthropologist Ernesto de Martino, died in 1965. De Martino left behind an abundant trove of notes and half-written material that was later assembled by his collaborators and published in 1977 under the title The End of the World. Two subsequent editions, in 2002 and 2019, offered a different organisation of the material. It is the latter, curated by Giordana Charuty, Daniel Fabre and Marcello Massenzio, which is now available to Anglophone readers.

De Martino was picking up where Sontag had left off: what constitutes an “adequate” response to the terrors of the end? What sort of apocalyptic cultures could offset existential anxieties and avoid a radical disaffiliation from society? He was writing at a time when the belief in progress was burning its last fumes, behind which the wreckage of Auschwitz and Hiroshima stood as a bitter last word. Yet, there was no guarantee that the sobering of political enthusiasms and the restraint of human creativity were linchpins in a new age of reason, rather than the symptoms of a deep cultural malaise. In retrospect, De Martino’s main concern has only gained in urgency: can we live a healthy life at the end of history?

The End of the World is not so much an unfinished manuscript as a monumental scrapbook. Heidegger, Croce, Gramsci, Lévy-Bruhl, Eliade, Binswanger, Jaspers, Bultmann, Sartre, Moravia, Sedlmayr, and many others are on offer in this smorgasbord of cultural samples. Long passages are excerpted verbatim, sometimes followed by extensive annotations. The result is not unlike the intricate geography of a river delta, in which multiple streams and rivulets flowing from a single source diverge and converge again, meander around sandbanks and reshape them in the process. The publication of The End of the World offers a fascinating glimpse into the workshop of one of the most interesting figures of the Italian intellectual scene in the 20th century. It is also a book that has become timelier since the author’s death.

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Born in Naples in 1908, De Martino was an anthropologist and historian of religion, remembered especially for his works on the religious traditions of southern Italy. A unique and idiosyncratic figure, he was a cultural seismograph that registered the tectonic shifts of the century. After an early dalliance with fascism, he gradually embraced liberal positions before joining the resistance in 1941. He came out of the war a socialist organiser in southern Italy and in 1953, shortly after Stalin’s death, he joined the Communist Party. At his funeral, mourners included Alberto Moravia and Carlo Levi, as well as a representative of the cultural section of the central committee of the Italian Communist Party.

De Martino first studied philosophy at the University of Naples under Adolfo Omodeo, a protégé of Giovanni Gentile who occupied the chair of the history of Christianity. He graduated in 1932 with a dissertation on the Eleusine cults. The academic milieu in which he was immersed was infused with the idealist philosophy of Italy’s most respected intellectual and the Neapolitan resident extraordinaire, Benedetto Croce, which left its mark on the young De Martino. For Croce, religion and myth were nothing but reason in its infancy, primitive approximations of the philosophical concepts that would eventually supersede them as the spirit of world history unfurled its wings. From the grand old man of Italian liberal culture, De Martino inherited a commitment to the progress of reason in history and a rationalist understanding of religion, which he qualified yet never abandoned.

But soon, other influences were at work. De Martino found a mentor – and eventually a father-in-law – in Vittorio Macchioro. Macchioro was born in Trieste in 1880, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in a Sephardic family hailing from Spalato (Split in today’s Croatia). A museum curator and an archaeologist who specialised in the iconography of Pompeii’s vases and Orphic cults in ancient Greece, he nonetheless remained an academic outsider. Perhaps this was because his interest in religion was deeply personal, inseparable from a tortuous spiritual journey that included the belief in magic and spirits as well as a series of conversions, first to Protestantism, then Catholicism and back.

Macchioro saw the sacred as a primordial dimension of human experience situated outside the reach of rational knowledge. This was not an uncommon view at the time but in a land where Croce reigned supreme, this anti-rationalism set him apart. It also earned Macchioro a few disciples such as De Martino, or a young Romanian scholar who gravitated towards him during the same years: Mircea Eliade. If religion was situated outside history, this meant it could never be entirely dissolved in the sunny Hegelianism radiating from Palazzo Filomarino, Croce’s home in Naples. When Macchioro chose a pseudonym for his more literary pursuits, he went for Benedetto Gioia (“joy” in Italian, while croce means “cross”).

Caught between these opposite influences, De Martino sought to reconcile them by turning religion into a progressive force in history. If religion and myth are bound to dissolve themselves in the crucible of historical progress and yet have proved indispensable for achieving it and enabling creative human agency in moments of existential crisis, how can this forward-looking ethics be sustained in secular societies? Is the modern world capable of channelling the constructive impulse of religious life into a secular expansion of freedom?

With its mobilisation of social energies through secular mythologies, fascism seemed to provide a way out of this quandary and to embody exactly the kind of “civil religion” that De Martino was looking for. “The propulsive aspect of religion,” he wrote in the journal of the Gruppi Universitari Fascisti, the voluntary student militia he had joined in 1928, “this enthusiastic solicitation that derives from myth, this necessity to immediately conform ideal into a conform action, imply a conception of life that is substantially illiberal.” De Martino never embraced the racist and exclusionary rhetoric of the regime and deluded himself into considering fascism as a force of egalitarian transformation between social classes and between European empires. But in projecting on to Mussolini’s neo-Roman fantasies his longings for a “civil religion” that would reconcile secular rationalism with the experience of the sacred, he was drawn to mythologies of individual sacrifice and redemption through the mystical body of the nation, just as Eliade’s mysticism had drawn him towards the Iron Guard, the revolutionary fascist movement active in Romania during the same period. While De Martino’s juvenile political enthusiasm has often been described as “left-wing fascism” (fascismo di sinistra), the term “hyperfascism” once suggested by Gennaro Sasso might be more apt.

De Martino’s fantasies of a fascist “civil religion” didn’t last. The Lateran Pacts of 1929 indicated that Mussolini was more eager to accommodate the Church than to replace it, while the Vatican came to see fascism as an instrument for the re-Christianisation of Italian society. From India, where he had embraced yoga during a lecturing tour, Macchioro, who had little sympathy for Mussolini’s regime, quipped that his protégé should cure his delusions by practicing the headstand position: “Contemplated with your head down and your legs up, civil religion will seem even more beautiful.”

Whether or not the Sirsasana stance was a path towards political reformation, what followed was indeed an inversion of perspective. In 1935, De Martino was sent to teach in a secondary school in Bari, in the Puglia region – an experience that inaugurated a lifelong interest in the “southern question” and proved transformative both intellectually and politically. He found himself drawn into the orbit of the Laterza publishing house, a local institution that had resisted Rome’s ideological pressures thanks to the prestige of its most famous author, Benedetto Croce.

“Villa Laterza” was the hub of a liberal intellectual bourgeoisie that found in Croce’s “religion of freedom” an ideological vehicle for its anti-fascism. In 1941, Laterza published De Martino’s first book, Naturalismo e storicismo nell’etnologia (Naturalism and Historicism in Ethnology), a critique of dominant trends in anthropology that considered primitive societies as a part of nature rather than history. The same year, he followed the rest of the Laterza group into clandestine resistance. Soon suspected by the regime, he was first confined in Lucca and eventually displaced to Romagna. De Martino spent the war doing mostly propaganda work and taking up various political responsibilities, once or twice avoiding being caught in round-ups. By 1944, he was a member of the anti-fascist Partito d’Azione and a leader of the small liberal-socialist Partito Italiano del Lavoro.

Painstakingly written during the war and published in 1948 as the first volume of a collection on religion and the sacred that De Martino co-edited with the novelist Cesare Pavese at Einaudi, Primitive Magic was not the sort of book socialist organisers usually wrote. A boot-strapping attempt at reaching beneath the dawn of modern historical consciousness, it sought to account for the primordial rituals that conjured into being the basic categories that structure historical existence, such as the distinction between the self and the world. In its infancy, humanity lived in a “magic world” in which individuation was “not a fact, but a historical task, and an emerging reality”. Constantly at risk of being drawn back into the elemental force field of an undifferentiated nature, a fledgling sense of individual existence was secured by shamans and sorcerers. At critical junctures, when a natural world teeming with spiritual energies seemed about to engulf the self, their trances offered a model of loss and redemption of presence that ensured the reintegration of the individual into a familiar cultural and cosmic order. These sacred rituals were an insurance policy against the dissolution of the self and the accompanying loss of the world as a forum of self-experience.

As any reader of The End of the World soon realises, De Martino’s understanding of the dissolution of “presence” owed much to a critical engagement with existentialism, and in particular with Heidegger. The borrowings were largely confined to terminology; De Martino considered the German philosopher guilty of confusing the cultural crisis of the 1930s with the human condition itself. But if De Martino’s specimens of primitive humanity look like fledgling Heideggerian Daseins wandering in the enchanted forest, it is because they were directly relevant to the understanding of the 20th century.

The interpretation of culture as a system of collective defence against the loss of presence and the concomitant loss of the world is perhaps the central theme of The End of the World, where it traces an arc going from the dawn of humanity to postwar Western culture. Cyclical and self-contained, myth offered a protection against exposure to the unassailable terrors of history. Mythic and religious symbols operated as a “technique of dehistorification” by reinterpreting a threatening and open-ended present as the replay of an immemorial script situated outside history and impervious to its existential dangers. Myths functioned like a protective shell, a “diving bell in which primitive man is immersed in the ocean of life”. But for the sacred to become a force capable of shaping a historical future rather than guarantee a static existence, the diving bell had to be broken, and the shaman had to become a prophet or a messiah setting time on a linear course.

The transformation of religious fulfilment into historical time was the distinctive contribution of Christianity. Like primitive mythologies, its religious symbols also operated as a “momentary killing of history”, yet only to become the prelude to a “beginning again from the start” – a subterfuge that enabled historical agency because it neutralised the anxiety it presupposed by anchoring the end of history in a past event.

The Christian religious symbol “cloak[ed] historicity in mythic metahistory” and the promise of redemption created a safe space for human agency. The time of the end was no longer a paralysing stupor because the Christian gospel turned into “destinies, tasks, and positive values what in the crisis lies only as the obliteration of presence”. The representation of a future end as another beginning infused the present with the ethical energy necessary to face and overcome existential crises: this transformative force was the primary function of what De Martino called a cultural apocalypse.

His 1948 Primitive Magic was an odd book, perhaps even a “disturbing” one, as Carlo Ginzburg suggested, in which the rationalist scaffolding of modern historical existence was revealed to be a conquest premised on magic rituals, and thus something always at risk of unravelling. But for all its exotic scenery of Siberian steppes and Tierra del Fuego islands, Primitive Magic was not an escapist exercise. As De Martino later wrote, it was “a contemplation on a global scale of the dark theogonic anxiety perennially clouding the look of the poor peasant of Puglia”, at a time De Martino was trying to organise rural workers in the context of a rapidly modernising Italy.

The backdrop of Primitive Magic was the need to find a space outside the wreckage of history from which it would be possible to recover an ethics of progress. It was also the publication of Christ Stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi’s 1945 meditation on the cultural folklore of southern Italy. De Martino later credited Levi for convincing him that the religious traditions of the south were a reservoir of emancipatory energies and a compass with which human communities navigated a world that kept them on the doorstep of history.

Only superficially touched by Christianity, the world south of the town of Eboli seemed to have been preserved in amber, yet it was on the verge of awakening and releasing in the modern world forces kept in store from immemorial times: it was a “motionless world enclosing infinite possibilities, the dark adolescence of centuries ready to re-emerge and set itself in motion”, as Levi would later write to his editor. The diving bell was bursting at the seams.

By the time De Martino was working on The End of the World, “the distance separating subaltern cultural forms within Western civilisation from indigenous cultures of the colonial period” had collapsed. The halo of the Tungus shaman in Siberia surrounded the new figures of subalternity and the tinkling made by the amulets dangling from his ritual attire heralded their irruption on the world stage: the African prophet whose millenarianism blended Christian chiliasm with traditional deities and announced a world beyond colonialism; the peasants of Lucania in southern Italy whose atavistic rituals exorcised the anxieties of history; their sons and daughters who flocked to the Fiat factories of Mirafiori, in Turin, where they swapped their ancestral beliefs for Georges Sorel’s myth of the general strike.

What connected these subaltern insurgencies was their capacity to chart a course through the haze of an unknown and often frightening future as their world was upended. As the Global South rose, “millions of simple individuals have overrun or are about to overrun the ‘frontier of Eboli’”, De Martino wrote in an important 1949 essay on the history of the subaltern world. In The End of the World, this constructive apocalypticism becomes the thread that connects distant phenomena and, in the process, outlines nothing short of a theory of the Global South.

Inevitably, as they ploughed through the customs booth of Eboli, the subalterns smuggled in their luggage “their naive millenarian faith and their mythologies” and threw them into the political melee. Mythical representations of the end and regeneration of the world had become central to an “infinity of prophetic cults of liberation” that promised the end of colonialism, as an associate of De Martino, the anthropologist Vittorio Lanternari, had observed in his 1960 study of the phenomenon The Religion of the Oppressed. What to do with this insurgent cultural material was a political question. In the case of De Martino, it was filtered through the reading of Gramsci, whose Prison Notebooks had been published between 1948 and 1951 and would reverberate for decades throughout Italian political culture.

The anthropologist Giordana Charuty points out that De Martino’s views on the religious folklores of the south was everything but a case of “internal Orientalism”. Nor was there any condescension in his calls for “historical piety” vis-à-vis subaltern cultures. Rather, he stood for a kind of scientific populism that embraced these cultures on their own terms, yet only as a necessary moment in a historical process ultimately leading to emancipation (a position explicitly modelled on Gramsci’s criticism of “popular” materialism).

De Martino never abandoned his conviction that religion and myth would eventually dissolve into historical progress and become entirely mundane and rational: subaltern cultures were bound to disappear with subalternity itself. He was also aware that the essentialisation of subaltern identities could be “used in an openly reactionary direction to the advantage of the dominant classes”.

It is tempting to see De Martino as a pioneer of subaltern studies. His 1949 essay “About the History of the Subaltern Popular World” outlined questions that would later inform the work of South Asian scholars before successfully spreading through Anglophone academia. Yet, despite similar starting points – the colonial encounter, Gramsci, the peasantry, and the emancipatory potential of subaltern cultures – The End of the World does not have much in common with a project that eventually ended up celebrating an ineffable alterity.

De Martino was under no illusion that history proceeded mechanically towards the unity of humankind in an epiphany of freedom. But because there was no great scheme of things playing out on its own, there were even fewer reasons to abandon “the project of unifying human dispersion and the multiplicity of traditions and cultures”. The end of history did not need to be a proliferation of irreducible and intransitive differences.

He registered early on the collapse of great narratives at the end of history – faith and ideology. Yet De Martino asserted the impossibility of living a fulfilling life without such final stories. The task ahead was one of composition, which implied broad comparative ambitions and the refusal of “cultural relativism”. His vision was closer to the “planetary humanism” Paul Gilroy has recently called for in the face of global catastrophe than to postmodern ironies. As he wrote to a friend in 1960, De Martino believed “in the unification of humanity… in a variety of socialist republics formed according to the principle of the human destiny of all cultural goods”.

To act as a political midwife to the rise of the Global South, the anthropologist had to reform an intellectual tradition tarnished by its connivance with colonialism. And yet, de Martino would have had no patience with contemporary calls for “decolonising” disciplines and syllabi. Without a critical reappropriation of one’s own traditions, such calls would be nothing but intellectual and political regressions masquerading as atonement. For all the devastation and the plundering, the colonial encounter contained the seeds of a new humanism that could flourish only in the era of decolonisation. It offered the opportunity for a critical return of the European gaze on to itself: a “critical ethnocentrism” that made visible the provincial nature of the West’s own cultural history, enabling it “to emerge from its corporative isolation and dogmatic ethnocentrism”.

The global subaltern insurgency analysed in the chapter “Apocalypse and Decolonisation” of The End of the World was a sort of Dorian Gray’s painting in reverse, in which the West could contemplate the ethical vigour it had lost. Bereft of the energy that redemptive symbols and progressive mythologies could generate, Western culture faced the prospect of the end “outside of any religious horizon of salvation, that is, as a desperate catastrophe of the worldly, the domestic, the settled, of the signifying and the practicable”. The images of planetary meltdown or atomic destruction that infused the mass culture Sontag was interested in were only the visible symptom of a deeper incapacity to navigate creatively the prospect of the end of the world, which for De Martino was always “the end of a determinate historical world”, whether Stefan Zweig’s World of Yesterday or the crepuscular world of European domination in the Global South. It was this cultural impairment, and not some physical catastrophe, that was the real existential risk that human communities had to hedge against. “The world ‘can’ certainly end,” De Martino writes: “but the fact that it ends is its own business, because humanity’s only responsibility is to place it in question again and again and begin it again and again.”

It wasn’t just pop culture and nuclear dystopias à la Strangelove that registered the loss of this capacity for self-reinvention. In Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, in Alberto Moravia’s Boredom, in Samuel Beckett’s plays, in the desiccated aesthetics of the French Nouveau roman, or in Heidegger’s existentialist philosophy, De Martino saw a pervasive sense that the world was brittle and meaningless, a feeling of estrangement that ultimately led to paralysis. In the great archive of “cultural apocalypses” that he had assembled in The End of the World, this generalised malaise set Western culture apart. Its figurations of the end seemed to have lost any inspiring and redemptive force; they no longer disclosed a world beyond the one we know, and they did not reshape crises into opportunities of renewal and creation. The modern self remained in thrall to the unassimilable terrors of the end.

The model of the good cultural apocalypse was of course the Christian one. It had transformed the consummation of human history into the beginning of God’s Kingdom and in the process had reshaped the time of the end “into a protective, justifying horizon for the unfolding of Christian virtues”. Notwithstanding his politics, De Martino never reneged on his admiration for Christianity, in which he saw the standard for any subsequent apocalyptic culture. But religion as a lived collective experience was in poor shape. De Martino would have certainly agreed with his contemporary Philip Rieff that “the Christian myth was no longer therapeutic”.

Unlike Rieff, De Martino had no interest in delivering a conservative critique of modern individualism and its narcissistic care of the self, nor in blaming psychoanalysis for offering itself as an ersatz religion. Instead, he was on the lookout for secular versions of redemptive cultures. Marxism and ideologies of progress in general had not fared much better than their religious models. Even the Soviet world, De Martino suggested in an article published in L’Espresso in 1961, was struggling with the problem of filling the void left by the disappearance of religion as a force capable of shaping society.

The projection of millenarian hopes on to the secular movement of history had run its course in the communist paradise as well. While he occasionally mentioned the October Revolution as a possible myth for the ages, he wasn’t very convincing. Acquired late, indirectly, and filtered through an already consolidated model of crisis and redemption, De Martino’s Marxism was mostly a vessel for the projection of his own search for a progressive and secular equivalent of the Christian gospel: “I believe that with the October Revolution a new era has begun, just as the previous one was inaugurated with Christ’s preaching,” he once confessed. The End of the World includes abundant notes on the “drama of the Marxist apocalypse” and critical observations on the materialist interpretation of religion. Ultimately, De Martino saw in Marxism not so much the real movement of things and the transition to communism already at work within bourgeois society but the promise of bourgeois society’s final consummation in a great bonfire. Heralding an end that was already here and yet to come, his Marx was a biblical prophet more than a 19th-century savant.

De Martino didn’t live long enough to outline what a civil equivalent of forward-looking, constructive religious impulses could look like in the late 20th century, nor was he able to witness the rise of new social movements that would seek to imagine a different world beyond the closed horizon of the Cold War in the late 1960s.

Ultimately, The End of the World is the diagnosis of a cultural failure. It is a diagnosis in a clinical sense, dealing with the psychopathological consequences of that failure. The disappearance of redemptive cultural narratives in the West was an instance of repression. In the absence of the eschatological disclosure of a world to come or an image of future renewal, any ending risked becoming absolute and engulfing the individual.

De Martino had a technical term for the radical disaffiliation of society that ensued: a “psychopathological apocalypse”. It referenced the main symptom of incipient schizophrenia in early 20th-century German-language psychiatry: Weltuntergangserlebnis, literally “end-of-the-world experience.” Such experiential states took place on the edge of the abyss, without the handrail of cultural images that reshaped the end into a new beginning and, by doing so, anchored the individual in a cultural community. The subject of these experiences faced a world no longer mediated by shared values that made it collectively “projectable” or “practicable”.

When the connective tissue of narratable, potentially integrative, final endings dissolves, the familiar landscape that forms the backdrop of our actions suddenly feels eerie and can no longer be taken for granted. The world ceases to be “settled”; “the circuit of latent memories that undergirds the bedrock of obviousness” caves in; “the cultural homeland of our agency” unravels. Mental illness, schizophrenia and paranoia are private apocalypses, attempts at cultural bricolage meant to cope with existential anxieties in the absence of any shared vision of a future beyond the crisis. Because “the end of the world as a psychopathological experience is the experience of a radical risk incompatible with any culture”, these terrors are the result and not the cause of Sontag’s “radical disaffiliation from society”.

All this led to the paradox of a culture that failed to fulfil its primary task of securing the individuals against the risk of losing their world. Instead, the culture of triumphant modernity generated malaise. The disease was largely self-inflicted, since the West was caught in a “non-religious apocalypse without eschaton in which no small part of Western culture is variously involved”.

De Martino was working on The End of the World at a time when liberalism was retreating from its earlier commitments to progress in history; its intellectual advocates tracked down any leftover of eschatological confidence, whether religious or secular, and denounced it as the dangerous prelude to grand Nuremberg finales. In this show trial, there was no prescription period and the oldest crimes were still up for judgement: from the early Gnostics indicted in Eric Voegelin’s The New Science of Politics (1952) to the motley crew of itinerant medieval prophets featured in Norman Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957), all the eschatological fervours of the past now flowed into the undifferentiated cesspool of 20th-century totalitarianism.

Against this backdrop, De Martino stands out for his contrarianism. Because he hailed from a different and more audacious liberalism that had not yet been browbeaten into conservative submission by its Cold War appropriators, he was able to see the early warning signs that suggested the new cultural and political dispensation was not sustainable as a narrative of human fulfilment.

For sure, De Martino’s millenarians, his socialist prophets, and his chiliastic subalterns may seem to be naive figures of hope today. After all, what could be more ingenuous than to face the anxieties of history by seeking comfort in the suspended time of myth? And yet, in retrospect, something crucial may have been lost in the condemnation of their enthusiasms. Unlike us, they projected the end of history into the future as a goal to be achieved, irradiating the present with an energy that shored up ethical communities capable of shaping a collective future. We deal instead with our anxieties through denial. To the wager of a different future, we have preferred the morbid abdication of any creative impulse and a collective Weltuntergangserlebnis. It is then tempting – perhaps even necessary – to pathologise those that suffer most from it, in a self-destructive effort to ignore the collective nature of their condition, generated by an exhausted culture. “Collective nightmares,” Sontag warned, “cannot be banished by demonstrating that they are, intellectually and morally, fallacious” – especially when they are too close to reality.

[See also: Byron’s war on tranquillity]

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