Ruins in the Literary and Cultural Imagination

  • Efterpi Mitsi
  • Anna Despotopoulou
  • Stamatina Dimakopoulou
  • Emmanouil Aretoulakis

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Efterpi Mitsi, Anna Despotopoulou, Stamatina Dimakopoulou, Emmanouil Aretoulakis
    Pages 1-20
  3. Allegory – Animation – Appropriation

  4. Re-collection – Trauma – Aftermath

  5. Contemplation – Preservation – Resistance

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 301-306

About this book


This book focuses on literal and metaphorical ruins, as they are appropriated and imagined in different forms of writing. Examining British and American literature and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book begins in the era of industrial modernity with studies of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and Daphne Du Maurier. It then moves on to the significance of ruins in the twentieth century, against the backdrop of conflict, waste and destruction, analyzing authors such as Beckett and Pinter, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton and Leonard Cohen. The collection concludes with current debates on ruins, through discussions of Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht, as well as reflections on the refugee crisis that take the ruin beyond the text, offering new perspectives on its diverse legacies and conceptual resources. 


Victorian literature twentieth-century literature post-war literature memory studies culture of ruins philosophy

Editors and affiliations

  • Efterpi Mitsi
    • 1
  • Anna Despotopoulou
    • 2
  • Stamatina Dimakopoulou
    • 3
  • Emmanouil Aretoulakis
    • 4
  1. 1.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  4. 4.National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-26904-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-26905-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site