Thinking about "the end" usually leads us into a muddled web of contradictions, regardless of whether we are referring to an individual's end, which we call death, or a collective one, which in Western tradition has been represented symbolically as the Apocalypse or according to the paradigm of catastrophe. But an extensive and opulent forest of images has grown around this topic. Today the crisis of modernity - a great framework that encompasses ecological, economic, and political crises - has once again brought to the fore the theme of "the end" and its catalogue of symbols. The "icons of the end" that have been cultivated within the Western tradition have thus become prominent in selected spheres of social imagery, including mass culture, motion pictures, and popular narratives: Titanic, Apocalypse Now, The Day After, vampires, Frankenstein, mummies, up to the more recent and exotic zombies. This book offers a journey among images of individual and collective apocalypses that have always haunted the human mind.
Andrea Tagliapietra teaches History of Philosophy and History of Ideas and Philosophical Hermeneutics at the San Raffaele University in Milan.