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    Time zero: Hiroshima, September 11 and apocalyptic revelations in historical consciousness

    Bousquet, Antoine (2006) Time zero: Hiroshima, September 11 and apocalyptic revelations in historical consciousness. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 34 (3), pp. 739-764. ISSN 0305-8298.

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    This article considers the place of the Hiroshima bombing and the September 11 attacks as singular acts of violence constituting major points of ru p t u re in the historical consciousness and chro n o l o g i c a l narratives of the Western world: Ground Zero is Time Zero . Geographically and temporally delineated instances of intense death and destruction, both acts have been construed as moments when the world ‘changed for ever’. Our schemata of interpretation – the mental frameworks through which we impose meaning and continuity on the world around us and determine the range of our expectations – were violently overthrown by those events, shattered by images that exceed our minds’ capabilities of re p resentation and symbols that challenge our liberal metanarratives of ineluctable pro g ress. By bringing to the f o re their aesthetic dimension and reading them through the lens of the Kantian notion of the sublime, we can grasp those events in their original intensity as overwhelming revelatory experiences. Apocalyptic both in their imagery and the meaning attributed to them, those unprecedented acts of terror re p resent turning-points in our reconstituted historical narratives, marking a culmination of history leading to it as well as the start of a new era in which it is pro c l a i m e d that many previous assumptions no longer hold.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 13:28
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


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