Martwy za życia. Zombie jako metafora odrzucenia społecznego we współczesnej rosyjskiej fantastyce grozy
Wilk, Anna N.
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Anna N. Wilk’s chapter Living Dead: The Zombie as a Social Rejection Metaphor in Contemporary Russian Horror Literature discusses the image of the zombie as a met-aphor of discrimination, based on the following works: Anna Starobinets’s Yasha’s eternity, Sergey and Marina Diachenko’s Лихорадка [Likhoradka], Vadim Voznesen-skiy’s Капля за каплей [Kaplya za kapley], Andrеy Brem’s Мучин крест [Muczin krest] and Georgyi Gerasimov’s Якутск отмороженный. Исход [Yakutsk ot-morozhennyy. Iskhod]. In these short stories, living dead induce not only fear but also repulsion, disgust or even pity. Changing into a zombie has become synonymous with transformation into a socially rejected individual. Even when a monster does not feel the compulsion to feed on human meat, it is doomed to incapacitation and solitude. This is the fate of Yasha, the main character in Starobinets’s story, and a scientist from Лихорадка by Sergey and Marina Diachenko. In Russian horror literature, zombies can also be identified with the lowest social class due to the fact that both groups are excluded or expelled from social activities. In Voznesenskiy’s story, the main character finds out that some of the homeless people have become zombies. In Brem’s story, the cemetery for the poor and criminals is a place where one can raise people from the dead. Georgyi Gerasimov uses zombies to invert a common trope: here the mon-sters are too weak to oppose the terror of humans. Low temperatures allow them to regain their thinking ability and memories, but at the sa-me time they become slow and languid. The citizens of Yakutsk city, where winter lasts almost 8 months, are forced to coexist with them. This is a far from peaceful coexistence, because humans take advantage of the monsters’ weakness to torture them in cruel and savage ways. Nowadays, growing globalization and capitalism incite internal anxiety about our so-cial standing. The zombie as a character epitomizes the fear of becoming a degenerate individual deprived of civil rights; anyone can lose their social status because of an un-foreseen accident.
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