By Motoko Tanaka (auth.)
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Additional info for Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction
For example, the modern technological apocalypse always presents the usefulness of technology and then contrasts it with the crisis that comes when we misuse it or when we lose control of our creations. The postmodern tech-apocalypse, on the other hand, focuses on the way in which the artificial begins to meld with the natural, as well as how nature becomes unable to survive without help and interference in the form of the artificial. Yet at the same time, the artificial always carries the potential of becoming uncanny and harmful to humanity.
As we have seen above, apocalypse is versatile, and its context, proportion, rhetoric, and influence vary greatly. It is very difficult to evaluate worldwide apocalyptic traditions in terms of “good” or “bad” effects; the influence of the apocalyptic imagination is very versatile. Therefore, I prefer to pay attention to the functions of the apocalyptic phenomenon rather than its moralistic value. The point is to look at what has been revealed through apocalyptic narratives at various times, especially during major transitional periods; apocalypse in the original Greek signifies lifting up the veil to reveal/disclose/uncover the otherwise hidden truth.
As a consequence of postmodernization, Jameson points to the effacing of historicity and the past, the disappearance of the individual subject in postmodernity, the increasingly unavailable personal style of expression in art, and the emergence of the schizophrenic feeling that the past and the future are fused with the eternal present. 31 Thus, Jameson concludes that postmodernization nullifies the concordance and diachronic notion of time in order to make sense of the present and to have a vision of the future, and emphasizes the synchronic understanding of time: it reveals that there is no beginning or end and that there is no sacred center to which to return.