Human “ish”: Voices from Beyond the Grave in Contemporary Narratives

  • Heather Duncan United International College, China
Keywords: horror, death culture, new media, science fiction, speculative fiction, transhumanism

Abstract

This essay examines three contemporary genre narratives that explore the concept of life after death: an amateur digital “creepypasta” posted on Reddit, an episode of the television series Black Mirror, and Paul La Farge’s 2017 novel The Night Ocean. Using these narratives to explore nearfuture death rituals, transhumanist consciousness preservation, and the role of genre fiction in exposing the instability of narratives and the distributed nature of agency in digital environments, I argue that coping with the unprecedented complexity of life in the digital age requires a reevaluation of what constitutes the self, the human, and the extent to which the narratives that inform these boundaries are permeable and capable of acting with their own agency.

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Published
2018-06-11
How to Cite
Duncan, H. (2018). Human “ish”: Voices from Beyond the Grave in Contemporary Narratives. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 15(1), 83-97. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.15.1.83-97
Section
Articles