Apocalypse Is The New Realism

May 22 2012 @ 7:25pm

Ben Marcus summarizes the trend towards end times in American fiction:

Do Americans read [Cormac McCarthy’s The Road] differently – say, as a great realist novel – because our nation’s ridiculous lucky streak (a luck sustained through tremendous violence to others) was broken ten years ago and we got to sample, however briefly, feelings of deep vulnerability? Nothing of the 9/11 attacks even remotely suggested an apocalypse but they certainly helped expose the troubling fiction of our immortality. Which might mean that fictions of our end times are now, through bad luck or comeuppance, however you wish to view it, among the truest and most realistic stories that we can tell.

More on the psychology of armageddon here.