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Nevil Shute's On the Beach, Oppenheimer, and the Slow Apocalypse


Tue May 08, 2018
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
90 mins

"The way the world ends/[is] not with a bang but a whimper." This epigraph from T.S. Eliot's "Hollow Men" opens On the Beach wherein the earth's Northern hemisphere has been completely irradiated by nuclear weapons and the resulting fallout drifts slowly and steadily south to Melbourne, Australia where the characters wait for their deaths and the extinction of humanity.

This slow apocalypse is linked to Canada's involvement in the development of the atomic bomb and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Director of the Manhattan Project. Through these combinations, On the Beach becomes a surfacing of the contradictions inherent to living post-apocalyptically within a post-nuclear reality.

Presented by Aaron Tucker, Ryerson University.




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