The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘apocalypse’

The Dreams in Which I’m Dying

August 29, 2014 | by

The vanity of the zombie apocalypse.

thelastofus

A publicity still from The Last of Us.

There are few things as narcissistic as an apocalypse fantasy. The apocalypse doesn’t mean the end of the world, just the end of humankind, and considering such a fate can lead us into a sentimental peace with the present day. Suddenly, in spite of all its flaws—flaws that might be harder to accept in less dire circumstances—the world seems worth keeping intact. In recent years, zombies have been a catalyst of fictional doom in every conceivable manner, from popular horror and comedy to moral parable and literary send-up. They offer us freedom from death in exchange for our subjective consciousness and social identity. But we’d sooner have death, if it means our egos can be spared for a bit.

The Last of Us, a PlayStation game whose latest version was released last month, is a story about a zombie apocalypse, but it wasn’t supposed to be. Its creative director, Neil Druckmann, said in a 2011 interview that he wanted the game to be more of a love story, one between a middle-aged man and a fourteen-year-old girl. So maybe it’s more accurate to describe The Last of Us as a story about a kind of taboo love that requires a zombie apocalypse to normalize—and, by extension, a story that, through love, gives the fungal zombification of humanity a silver lining. Our species may be on the verge of extinction, but if we’re able to fall in love and learn a little about ourselves along the way, it can’t be all bad. Love is where all educated people go to bury their narcissism. Read More »

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Grass Libraries, and Other News

December 21, 2012 | by

  • Cornell has installed an indoor grass library.
  • Reading habits across America.
  • Speaking of: writers who do not live in Brooklyn.
  • The OED apologizes for insensitivity.
  • More apocalyptic reading.
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    Lists of Lists, and Other News

    December 20, 2012 | by

  • Best of the year-end best-of lists.
  • The New York Public Library plans revealed.
  • An antidote to doomsday prophesies.
  • How to wrap books.
  • An anonymous donor steps in to save an Ottawa bookstore.

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    Apocalyptic Reads, and Other News

    December 17, 2012 | by

  • If the end of the world is nigh, here’s a reading list.
  • The scholarship of paperwork.
  • Brick Pollitt, Ben-Hur, Pussy Galore: Gay characters who were turned straight in the film version.
  • Smuggling braille across the border.
  • The library book bed bug scare: overblown?
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