Gathering together common themes from works by Barth, Gaiman, Byatt, Selick, Ferrante, Morrison, Bloom, Rushdie, and Patchett, a brief Conclusion reflects on the ubiquity of the descent motif and its status as a literary space in the context of postmodernism’s critiques of the canon. Underworld mythology lends itself to postmodern interrogations of authenticity, history, and authorial proprietorship. Further uses of the underworld tradition include artist Anish Kapoor’s “Descent into Limbo,” Oliver Sacks’ memoir Awakenings, Andrew Sean Greer’s novel Less, and Louise Glück’s Averno. The Other Worlds imagined in catabatic fiction contribute to these themes with implied correspondences between dreams and ghosts.
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