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The End of the World

Maria Manuel Lisboa


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1I am indebted to many people who helped, encouraged and supported me, did things for me, and said ‛there, there...’ at times when the end of the world appeared to be an attractive option, relatively speaking.

2Bernard McGuirk, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Peter Evans generously agreed to offer a critical reading of this book.

3Coral Neale provided me with valuable examples of apocalypse in films, books and the visual arts.

4David Fox, the ideal companion on holidays I will never take, agreed to allow me to reproduce one of his remarkable photographs for the cover, provided the print, and, following a logic that escapes me, thanked me for it.

5Susan Mansfield and Karen Weber saved me from unhelpful demons and from my own never-failing incompetence in all matters practical and commonsensical. Robert Hinde proofread the manuscript.

6Chris Woodhouse and Alex Lucini, Computer Officers at St. John’s College, miraculously never attempted to strangle me, not even once.

7Sue O’Reilly and Hykel Hosni suggested some valuable reading which helped me consolidate my thoughts.

8Rory O’Bryen let me benefit from his expertise on blondes, monkeys and digital images.

9David Lowe and Sonia Morillo Garcia I thank for absolutely everything. I am also ever grateful to Colin Clarkson at Cambridge University Library, who goes where my legs cannot.

10My students suggested I have a look at truly ghastly examples of end-of-the-world books they had read as teenagers. Margaret Clark did the same with regard to books with which she had traumatized her children over the years.

11Helen Coutts and Helen Lima de Sousa helped me with tracking down the images.

12Victoria Best and Robert Evans always tell me affectionately not to be silly whenever I need to hear it, and make me howl with laughter even when life gets dark.

13Chris Dobson encourages me repeatedly to delve ever more deeply into my inner silliness (seeing as, according to him, I have no option anyway). Mary Dobson kindly urges me to ignore him.

14Hilary Owen has stayed the course. Teresa Moreira Rato, my no-questions-asked friend of over forty years, knows that a friend is someone who is on your side, even if or particularly when you are in the wrong, once offered to punch two classmates’ noses on my behalf, and would help me to hide a body if ever the need arose.

15Ismene Lada-Richards offers me love and (in the unlikely event that I should ever prove too sweet to look after myself), her on-call services in exterminating anyone who might even slightly annoy me.

16Last and first, Michael Brick and Laura Lisboa Brick.

17I am grateful to St. John’s College’s Fellows’ research grant which paid for the costs of obtaining visual materials for this book and to Alessandra Tosi for making this the most pain-free, pleasurable and efficient of all my experiences of bringing a book into being.


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