The End of the Beginning: Environmental Apocalypse on the Cusp in Scott Fotheringham’s The Rest is Silence and Nicolas Dickner’s Apocalypse for Beginners; InVoice; Road’s End; & The Outside

Authors

  • Conrad Scott
  • Portia Priegert
  • Darren Patrick
  • Frank Frances

Abstract

Scott Fotheringham’s novel The Rest is Silence and Nicolas Dickner’s novel Apocalypse for Beginners both mix coming-of-age narratives with environmental destruction through apocalyptic events. Similarly, concerns about global environmental destruction populate the bildungsroman in fiction from nuclear-era texts such as John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids to ongoing narratives such as Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series. However, both Fotheringham’s The Rest is Silence and Dickner’s Apocalypse for Beginners integrate coming-of-age narratives with apocalyptic threats to the characters’ environments that climax at the edge of a point-of-no-return and then subside without having completely eradicated the living environment beyond recognition. The two novels represent a rethinking of how apocalyptic threat effects the world: these texts reject the idea of immediate doom represented by, for example, fiction focused on nuclear destruction, and the notion “’[t]hat there’s no problem that can’t be fixed with a good old end of the world’” (Dickner 89).
....

inVoice

i

mountains
soured with bitterroot
stumps at half mast

ii

barren logs
float in biers, await  
their final rites —
plywood and profit

iii

the wind
tuneless
without branches
to pluck

the outside
a swing forward
out the window
and into something
breaking bough
into something
finding medicine
in pain and poison

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How to Cite

Scott, C., Priegert, P., Patrick, D., & Frances, F. (2014). The End of the Beginning: Environmental Apocalypse on the Cusp in Scott Fotheringham’s The Rest is Silence and Nicolas Dickner’s Apocalypse for Beginners; InVoice; Road’s End; & The Outside. UnderCurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies, 18, 28–37. Retrieved from https://currents.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/currents/article/view/38543

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Section

Academic-Creative Compilations