WHY ARE THEY SO POPULAR?
The lively zombies of “I am Legend” (2007) are never clearly visible.
The zombie is one of our most enduring monsters. Why do we keep telling stories about dead people who come back to life? We see a wide range of them, from the super-slow and easily-killed (Night of the Living Dead) to the fast-moving and super-powerful (I Am Legend, the 2007 version). What is the deal with zombies? Here are four thoughts on the answer to that: Continue Reading
NARRATIVES OF SUSPICION
All Our Heroes are Detectives
Mistrust of authority has always existed, I’m sure, but it seems to have blossomed in the twentieth century. Now it is everywhere, and the hero who can cure it – the detective – is, too. In her recent book, The Metanarrative of Suspicion: in Late Twentieth Century America, author Sandra Baringer discusses the wide range of stories we have invented in which we suspect that the truth is being withheld from us. Stories of suspicion include everything from Harry Potter to The X-Files to Independence Day and all the CSI television shows. What connects tales from quaint Sherlock Holmes puzzles to the epically paranoid The Matrix to the routine worries of Law and Order is this premise: someone is trying to scam us, and something (usually something really important) is not at all what it seems. Narratives of suspicion give us an outlet for our deep doubts about who is really in charge of the hopelessly complex world we live in. They support the idea that if we could just see through the clever masks of the people around us, we would see what unfair treatment is being dished out.
The detective is a hero with his Continue Reading