Crime and the Imaginary of Disaster: Post-Apocalyptic by Majid Yar (auth.)

By Majid Yar (auth.)

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In the wake of this incursion, The Governor addresses the town: I should tell you that we’ll be okay, that we’re safe, that tomorrow we’ll bury our dead and endure. But I won’t, cos I can’t, cos I’m afraid ... I’m afraid of these terrorists, who want what we have, who want to destroy us! ’ The Governor then leads his people in an assault on the prison, with the intention of killing anyone who is not under his absolute control (and in the course of which he also summarily guns down a number of his own men who express reservations about going to war against the prison-dwellers).

He encounters his first zombie – an emaciated creature, the bottom half of its body missing, dragging itself along the ground, hissing and gurgling sounds the only thing issuing from its mouth. He makes his way home to find his wife (Lori) and son (Carl) gone. Disoriented and injured, he is rescued by a father and son (Morgan and Duane); as they nurse him back to health, they update him on the events of the past month, since the beginning of the plague. Anyone who is infected dies, but then ‘comes back’ as a ‘walker’ – mindless and driven only by an appetite to feed on living flesh, further spreading the infection through bites.

However, this self-limiting was, I felt, necessary for analytical reasons; the account offered here seeks to connect texts to their specific contexts – variously social, economic, political, historical and religious. Lacking an appropriate (sociological, anthropological and cultural) expertise as related to Japanese and other ‘non-Western’ social settings, I have elected to restrict myself to those with which I am most familiar and knowledgeable. Finally, alongside these post-apocalyptic fictions, a range of other crime-themed productions will also be briefly considered, so as to better establish the social, cultural and political contexts in which meaning production and consumption takes place.

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