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Better Off DeadThe Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human$
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Deborah Christie and Sarah Juliet Lauro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234462

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234462.001.0001

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A Dead New World: Richard Matheson and the Modern Zombie

A Dead New World: Richard Matheson and the Modern Zombie

(p.67) Chapter 5 A Dead New World: Richard Matheson and the Modern Zombie
Better Off Dead

Deborah Christie

Fordham University Press

This chapter traces the modern image of zombies back to Richard Matheson's 1954 novella, I Am Legend, and George Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. The chapter argues that because readers and audiences most closely identify with the survivors of an apocalyptic event, they often miss the larger implications of such narratives. Within many apocalyptic narratives, such as a zombie apocalypse, there is a overlying message of violent, transformative renewal that asks us to question normative humanist categories. Matheson and Romero both pointedly direct our attention back on our own body politic and demonstrate humanity's inability to discern its own capacity for inhuman behaviour.

Keywords:   zombie, vampire, Matheson, Romero, Apocalypse, post-human, negation, shock horror, anamnesis

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