Alexia schreibt mir: „My name is Alexia and I work at the LAWeekly - we thought you might enjoy these links to our Zombie-themed issue. Please feel free to spread and link as you see fit“. I see fit indeed.
Im Artikel geht es um Seth Grahame-Smiths Zombie-Remix von Jane Austens „Pride and Prejudice“, um Zombie-Jesus, um Voodoo, Braincontroll-Parasiten und Jenna Jamesons „Zombie Strippers“, um die Wirtschaftskrise, Swine-Flu und Zombie-Walks und all das dürfte dem regelmäßigen NC/F5-Leser bekannt sein, eine Stelle hat mich dann aber wirklich umgehauen, an der erklärt wird, warum untote Ikonen (Dracula, Frankenstein, Zombies, Werwölfe) grade im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert aufkamen.
Es sind (natürlich!) Reflektionen der Aufklärung. Als Religion und das Christentum an Einfluß verlor, projezierte man die christliche Idee des Lebens nach dem Tod in die Realität, zunächst noch sehr fantastisch (Dracula), dann schließlich realistisch (Frankenstein, Zombies) und voila: Die lebenden Toten. Anders gesagt: When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. W00t!
Death-in-life figures were enormously popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. They became interesting to people at a time when Christianity was losing its hold on the mind. They are, Maniquis says, iconic projections of a transformation that cannot be made.
“You know about doubting Thomas?” he asks.
Sure, I say, the guy who poked his finger into Jesus’ palm to feel the wounds from the crucifixion. Professor Maniquis chuckles a bit. “I don’t mean to offend the Christians,” he says, “but who is this guy risen out of the grave?” He’s a zombie.
People doubling, the werewolf, the vampire they all represent what Maniquis calls a “blockage” in Christian transformation. They’re the guys who can’t die and get to heaven. “What’s grotesque in zombies is that it comes too close to the idea of resurrection. Jane Austen knows about that world, even as she’s writing about a much more ordinary world of power and society.”
As I’m picking my jaw up off the floor, Professor Maniquis asks: Did I know that cannibalism was one of the dominant political metaphors of the period? “As for the half-dead eating the living, how about the living eating the recently killed? There is many a story at the time of aristocrats’ hearts being ripped out, cooked and eaten. Or spectators at the guillotine soaking up the beheaded victim’s blood in handkerchiefs that they would then suck on.” And here he makes a motion as if to dunk an imaginary piece of cloth into a pool of blood and brings it up to his lips. For the masses, the implication was, the aristocrats have been sucking on our blood for years, and now it’s our turn.