Episode Seven: Apocalyptic Fiction

Above:  We might be talking about the end of the world as we know it, but Claudia feels fine.

We might be talking about the end of the world as we know it, but Claudia feels fine.

Right-click here to download an MP3 file of this episode.

Why do we like to dream about the end of the world? Claudia Moreno Pisano joins me to talk about the function of apocalyptic fiction in culture–both as a contemporary trend and as a more ancient, universal human phenomenon. Our conversation attempts to understand the implications of living in a society that relentlessly produces images of its own demise.

Click here to read Simon Pegg’s brilliant Guardian editorial on zombies.

Below is a list, in no particular order, of wikipedia links to some of the books, movies, and cultural figures that came up in this episode:

  Melancholia, Stephen King’s The Stand, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the SowerThe Twilight Zone, Cormac McCarthy’s The RoadChildren of MenI Am LegendDeep ImpactArmageddonMad MaxWaterworld, Independence Day, The Walking Dead, Night of the Living DeadGeorge RomeroSlavoj ZizekMargaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Joseph Campbell, William Carlos WilliamsThe Avengers Transformers, Cloverfield, Planet of the ApesSigmund Freud, Carl JungErnest Becker’s Denial of DeathPan’s Labrynth, The Shining, Allen Ginsberg, Bob DylanAvatar, Terminator 2Rebel Without a Cause.

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