Post-Millennial Monsters

Monstrosity-no-more

Authored by: Fred Botting

The Gothic World

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415637442
eBook ISBN: 9780203490013
Adobe ISBN: 9781135053062

10.4324/9780203490013.ch42

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Abstract

Monstrosity shadows millennial change. The coming of a millennium breeds anticipation and apprehension: more than a linear and literal entry into a new age, it is surrounded by promises of tremendous, radical, even unimaginable, change. The year 2000, following at least two decades of global upheaval in political and economic alignments, social organization and technological development, seemed to excite and terrify in equal measure. An upward curve of growth measured by performance tables and stock markets provided reassurance of the rectitude of new economic thinking: the future was rosy, or at least Orange, Apple or Microsoft. The trajectory was shadowed by the possibility of a particularly literal apocalypse embedded in the same technology underwriting global economic expansion: the coding of the machines that ran the world, so the story went, would be unable to process the new date, with unthinkable consequences for a developed world now dependent on computers for its heat, light, water, health, transportation and money. Digital clocks ticked. 1999 turned into 2000. And nothing happened.

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