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The End of the World

Cultural Apocalypse and Transcendence

Translated by Dorothy Louise Zinn
The first English translation of a classic work of twentieth-century anthropology and philosophy.
A philosopher, historian of religions, and anthropologist, Ernesto de Martino (1908–65) produced a body of work that prefigured many ideas and concerns that would later come to animate anthropology. In his writing, we can see the roots of ethnopsychiatry and medical anthropology, discussions of reflexivity and the role of the ethnographer, considerations of social inequality and hegemony from a Gramscian perspective, and an anticipation of the discipline’s “existential turn.” We also find an attentiveness to hope and possibility, despite the gloomy title of his posthumously published book La Fine del Mondo, or The End of the World. Examining apocalypse as an individual as well as a cultural phenomenon, treating subjects both classic and contemporary and both European and non-Western, ranging across ethnography, history, literature, psychiatry, and philosophy, de Martino probes how we relate to our world and how we might be better subjects and thinkers within it. This new translation offers English-language readers their first chance to engage with de Martino’s masterwork, which continues to seem prescient in the face of the frictions of globalization and environmental devastation.

352 pages | 2 halftones | 6 x 9

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

History: History of Ideas

Table of Contents

Translator’s Preface
Overture 1: Will There Be a World Tomorrow?
Overture 2: Third World Apocalypse and European Apocalypse
1: Mundus
2: Psychopathological Apocalypses
3: The Drama of Christian Apocalypse
4: Apocalypse and Decolonization
5: The Apocalypse of the West
6: Anthropology and Marxism
7: Anthropology and Philosophy

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