1914: The old world, the new world, and the end of the world

JVF Conference Papers

Apocalyptic text production is closely related to certain events: The earthquake of Lisbon (1755), the Eruption of Mount Tambora (1815) and the year without a summer (1816) are incidents which stimulated apocalypticism in European poetry.

The year 1914 usually stands for Sarajevo and the catastrophe of the First World War. In the same period, on the other side of the Atlantic, the United States was celebrating a tremendous success: The opening of the Panama Canal. Between these two distant points we can observe an incredible boom of apocalyptic literature.

The purpose of this brief article is to highlight the connection between the events of Sarajevo and Panama in German apocalyptic literature.

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