Revelation occurs to each of us at every hour in the form of thoughts, feelings, dreams, insights and intuitions that seemingly derive from an unknown source. It feels like a gift. And yet it is inseparable from the catastrophic. Eric Rhode shows how this might be so. Writing from within a psychoanalytic tradition, he draws on material from anthropology, mythology and from theories of place and pilgrimage. He looks to Kafka’s parable of the dying emperor to discover how revelation as gift and revelation as catastrophe co-exist in tragic disjunction.