No-one Is Innocent Conspiracy Theories in Zombie-centric Literary Narratives


Contrary to widely-held views, popular literature constitutes an important component of culture and a source of extremely incisive observations on the reality from which it emerges. As a particular form of art, popular literature is simultaneously a resonator of widespread moods and a sphere in which they become reified – sometimes in an allegorical fashion, sometimes rather allusively, and sometimes expressed straightforwardly – reflecting a variety of social, economic, political, quotidian and other discourses. The perception of this process is relevant in that it relates to the problem of the plausibility of observations made by those authors who choose to work within the conventions of fantasy. Their perceptions and artistic achievements become entangled in the particular kind of binary relation formed from the supposed antagonism, referenced in scholarly discourse and enduring in our collective consciousness, between fiction and reality. As Krzysztof M. Maj insists, “the main problem lies […] in the fact that since the time when most important theories of fiction and fantasy genres were developed at the same time […], the realm of fantasy has also witnessed the postmodernist turn, and as a result, it would really be necessary now to […] talk about post-fantasy rather than fantasy as a strictly defined genre. […] In what we would thus call post-fantasy narratives, the world ceases to be simply a stage on which characters appear and disappear, marking successive stages in the development of the plot by their presence – and becomes instead a particular kind of virtual reality, an epistemological construct possessing high cognitive potential.” Proof of the justice of this claim can be found in elements that explicitly relate to authentic reality and penetrate the world of fiction as components contributing to the creation of the plot. One example of this predilection consists of works that develop apocalyptic scenarios, representing an artistic consequence of the global crises proliferating in many areas of our social, political, and economic life.