Monday, 30 July 2012

Flesh Eaters and George Bacovia

I just finished reading Flesh Eaters by Joe Mckinney. It starts with a huge hurricane which causes the flood of the city of Houston and, as if this wasn't bad enough, a virus breaks out, turning the dead into zombies starving for flesh. The story focuses on a family's struggle to get out of the ruined city: Eleanor Norton, a police woman, her husband Jim and their daughter Madison. The scale of the novel is much smaller than Zombie Apocalypse, which covers the whole territory of the United States. But its being small scale makes it better. After all, Joe Mckinney is no Stephen King and The Stand still stands unchallenged. One of the characters I found interesting is Brent Shaw. Captain Mark Shaw is the commander in charge of dealing with the crisis. Brent, one of Mark’s sons, is an alcoholic unable to come to grips with the devastation affecting the city. Paralyzed by the situation, Brent decides to strangle his own consciousness with hard liquor. I think Mckinney does a good job of creating a bleak atmosphere of doom and helplessness. However, he does not escape the cliché of a family struggling through adversity and coming together stronger than ever. In this respect I prefer the nihilism of Brian Keene, whose characters are trapped in hopeless circles of despair and rarely find a way out. After all, the very idea of struggling in such mind-boggling circumstances is quite embarrassing and vulgar. Now that I think about it, struggling in general is quite pathetic. This is partly why I liked Brent Shaw, because he decided to follow the more authentic path of half-assed self-destruction.
The dark atmosphere of the novel combined with the flood and the multitudes of zombies crawling out of ruined buildings remained me of the emptiness and cruel monotonicity of the universe created by the Romanian symbolist poet George Bacovia (1881-1957)

Here are two famous poems which came to my mind:


So many nights I've heard the rain,
Have heard matter weeping ...
I am alone, my mind is drawn
Towards lacustrine dwellings.

As though I slept on wet boards,
A wave will slap me in the back -
I start from sleep, and it seems
I haven't drawn the bridge from the bank.

A void of history extends,
I find myself in the same times ...
And sense how through so much rain
The heavy timber stilts are tumbling.

So many nights I've heard the rain,
Always starting, always waiting ...
I am alone, my mind is drawn
Towards lacustrine dwellings ...

Final Poem

I must drink, to forget what nobody knows
Hidden in the deep cellar, without saying a word
Alone to smoke there unknown by anyone
Otherwise, it's hard on earth ...

On the street life shouts, and death,
And may the poets weep over their vain poem ...
I know ...
But the terrible hunger is no joke, no dream -
Lead, and storm, waste,
Finis ...
Contemporary history ...
It's time ... all my nerves want you ...
O, come at once, magnificent future.

I must leave, to forget what nobody knows
Upset by bourgeois crimes, without saying a word
Alone to lose myself in the world unknown by anyone
Otherwise, it's hard on earth ...

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