has anyone cataloged the different kinds of apocalyptic texts. i can’t remember ever reading a critical work that didn’t use the idea of an apocalypse vaguely, as though if you just say the word everyone understands, “the ending of the world” but not in what sense “the world” is being interpreted. the greek interpretation of “apocalypse” means an “unveiling” or “revelation.” combining this with a more contemporary idea of apocalypse, wherein civilization ends by an unveiling of reliance on certain technology, it becomes easier to define. so to me then, it seems important when writing about a book that idealizes the apocalypse, to give a type to this version of it, one based on how it operates in the book. i like apocalyptic writing if it unveils my sense of order, a claim i return to later with SCORCH ATLAS. if i am remembering an octavia butler book correctly, PARABLE OF THE SOWER i think, this apocalypse involves unveiling the government of human nature. in the book, gated communities protect themselves internally from an unsteady outside world. without even really getting into it, i can see that this suggests a natural inclination for humans to make groups, to use others as technology. so in this version of the apocalypse, a technological unveiling, comes in the form of factions. a faction suggests limited power among a greater grouping of power. so what is unveiled is two interpretations of human nature in relation to power, two interpretations to be taken as one, as what happens when humans must face being alive. in facing being alive, it is unveiled that you must band together. to attack or defend. throw in the added element of there being a girl who possesses “hyperempathy” or a greater humanity for humanity, within herself, and the unveiling of the total human emotional scale is the apocalypse, the decision to govern and how to do it. the unavoidaility of it.
another so called apocalyptic book that i have read and a remember right now, is THE ROAD. if i had to say what was unveiled in THE ROAD, it seems like, given the scarcity of characters, and the primary technology lacked is how to acquire food, this unveils yet the same thing as octavia butler, that individual humanity is unthinkable. this seems more certain to me given the added elements of not really knowing how “the world ended” instead only seeing two people try to navigate it, as it then is. nothing ended, something changed. their family status shows another form of human allegiance, the father and son combination. it is such in the book that the father would rather be the one who kills his son, in the event of imminent murder. that is probably the only form of apocalypse in the book, suicide. this leads me to what i thought initially, that an apocalypse in a book is never the end of the world, not even a book that had no humans in it at all could represent a destructive apocalypse, only a transitional apocalypse, wherein is unveiled something humanly technological. here i can return to SCORCH ATLAS, which i read a while ago as stacked computer paper, and will read again shortly. i apologize for relying on a read so long gone, but i realize SA is what people have called post apocalyptic. after thinking about the book,where at any time a television can order kids to shit on the carpet and then feed cats to their captive parents, SA unveils how the technology of human normality, impossible to explain, can come undone. more so, i think it shows what can come undone in a book, with ideas. it seems to lack order in a way that defies other books where there’s a greater reliance on what order can be made after an apocalyptic event. i now expect to be fully schooled by people more well read in this genre. also though, i think it would be funny to read a book that was written to seem post apocalyptic but all that happens is email mysteriously never works again and neither does the internet. it would be funny to see a scene where there’s like, a camera shot of different regions, and people are just walking nervously out of their homes.