Friday, October 10, 2008

Link Roundup: Zombies And Postmodernist Literary Theory

One of the worst programming projects I ever had prompted me to get Working Effectively With Legacy Code by Michael Feathers. It's a great book and it saved my ass. I follow Mike on Twitter now.

I'm also writing a zombies screenplay.

You got chocolate in my peanut butter!

Punishment In Public Sphere

For Derrida, zombies are creatures that produce undecidability, they blur and weaken the dividing lines that affirm binary relations such as life/death, presence/absence, as they threaten the consoling sense that we operate in a world governed by decidable fixed categories.

Night Of The Living Theorists

One of the theories which can be applied to zombies is Derrida and his idea of decentring. The loss of the centre is a shift from widely held norms of the time, and is usually brought upon by a major historical event...A zombie epidemic would destroy the notion that the only two options are life and death and there is no "living dead" middle ground. It would also change the notion that man is the dominant species.

Throughout history, there has also been a shift in the centre of the zombie universe itself.

Jean Baudrillard- Exterminating Zombies with Theory

the zombies of "Dawn of the Dead" could symbolize the ever growing use of signs over things signified. This process started off slowly, within the individual, but like the zombies, bite by bite, the death of the signified began to increase and before long the world is infested with nothing but signs (zombies). After this process was complete the world is left in a "hyperreal" from which there is no escape. These copies of a copy are seen in the mass produced zombie films are the simulacra that thrives in this "hyperreality."

Baudrillard would associate the American obsession with zombies to "a loss of the real".

We have Baudrillard and we have Derrida. Unfortunately, we do not have Foucault. The closest I could find was a book which references Foucault called Theory Is Dead - Like A Zombie. It's too bad. It seems like Foucault belongs in this list.

But we do have a consolation prize: Marx.

Zombie Ideology

It is in my understanding that zombies, are trapped in a Marxist prison. The zombie is alienated from its labor and as Althusser would say, alienated from its means of production...what do we classify the Zombie as? Is the zombie an Ideological State Apparatus or a Repressive State Apparatus?

Update: Zombies at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.