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Living with the Living Dead : The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse - Greg Garrett

Living with the Living Dead

The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse

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Published: 1st June 2017
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RRP $34.25

When humankind faces what it perceives as a threat to its very existence, a macabre thing happens in art, literature, and culture: corpses begin to stand up and walk around. The dead walked in the fourteenth century, when the Black Death and other catastrophes roiled Europe. They walked in images from World War I, when a generation died horribly in the trenches. They walked in art inspired by the Holocaust and by the atomic attacks on Japan. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the dead walk in stories of the zombie apocalypse, some of the most ubiquitous narratives of post-9/11 Western culture. Zombies appear in popular movies and television shows, comics and graphic novels, fiction, games, art, and in material culture including pinball machines, zombie runs, and lottery tickets.

The zombie apocalypse, Greg Garrett shows us, has become an archetypal narrative for the contemporary world, in part because zombies can stand in for any of a variety of global threats, from terrorism to Ebola, from economic uncertainty to ecological destruction. But this zombie narrative also brings us emotional and spiritual comfort. These apocalyptic stories, in which the world has been turned upside down and protagonists face the prospect of an imminent and grisly death, can also offer us wisdom about living in a community, present us with real-world ethical solutions, and invite us into conversation about the value and costs of survival. We may indeed be living with the living dead these days, but through the stories we consume and the games we play, we are paradoxically learning what it means to be fully alive.

"Greg Garrett's book is a wonderful and occasionally terrifying tour of the zombie narrative. He gives us fresh insight into our cultural obsession with the undead, and shows that our troubled times provoke even more troubled tales. Now that we've unearthed them, zombies are here to stay, because they are the perfect foil for exploring human courage, character, and vulnerability."--Stephen T. Asma, author of On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears "Greg Garrett approaches his subject with great insight, intelligence, and sensitivity. The result is well-researched but highly personal book that makes you feel like you're having a captivating philosophical discussion about life with a very wise and learned friend. Despite - or because of - its subject matter, it's a very human book."--Mark Protosevich, screenwriter of I Am Legend "Living with the Living Dead looks into the rotting face of our most nihilistic fictions and finds them tinged with hope. Showing a whip smart awareness of the undead in popular culture, Garret goes beyond examining the zombie as allegory and metaphor. He brilliantly ponders how the story of the zombie apocalypse addresses our hope for community, our fear of catastrophe on a global scale, and even our need to face our own mortality."--W. Scott Poole, author of In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft

Introduction: Raising the Dead Chapter 1: Life, Death, and Zombies: Who Are the Walking Dead? Chapter 2: Hungry for Each Other: How Zombie Stories Encourage Community Chapter 3: Carrying the Fire: The Ethics of the Zombie Apocalypse Chapter 4: And In the End: Is the Zombie Apocalypse Good or Bad? Chapter 5: Conclusion: Living with the Living Dead Acknowledgments Notes Index

ISBN: 9780190260453
ISBN-10: 0190260459
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st June 2017
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.2 x 14.9  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.42