Doomsday fascination Lecture about Doomsday fascination in past and contemporary literature

Doomsday fascination
Talk and debate | Tuesday d. 4. Feb. 2020 | Ny Vestergade 18, Odense C | Price: 60 Kr. | Buy tickets here | This week’s guest recommendation is wirtten by: Rasmus Møller Madsen | Translated by: Francois Picard

Location: Teater Momentum
Organizer: Momentum, Spoken Word Festival

This is just a timeline following the development of my own fascination:

First of all: Zombies


Dawn of the Dead (Movie, Zack Snyder). Zombies and shopping malls where everything was free. The movie spread like a real zombie virus between me and my friends' confirmation-gift computers. We were blown away.


Left 4 Dead (computer game), collaborative zombie shooter. Now real adults (18 years old and still on our confirmation-gift computers). This game was ground-breaking. The atmosphere and the setup were so convincing that through this game, you could reach a truly unique spirit of confidence and virtual high-fives over Skype.


The Walking Dead, TV show and comic book. I was fascinated by lawlessness, the upheaval of economic systems, and the new micro-communities that may arise afterwards. And the soap drama of course. Give me more now, Robert Kirkman.


Left with frustration (up to date) with ONE release of The Walking Dead a month, I sought to expand my post-apocalyptic horizon.

I found of course Cormac McCarthy's The Road. A nauseatingly bleak experience of people who’ll probably never leave my inner retina. But if it does one day, I’ll read it again.

And then a glorious doomsday digression: Troels' Boghandel in Svendborg subsequently recommended me Danish Peter Adolphsen's short novel År 9 Efter Loopet (“Year 9 after the Loop”). A much needed hug after The Road. Literally the world's most average human being has the globe for himself. Everyone else is gone in… the Loop? A different portrayal of a disaster-struck world that contains neither zombies nor shady motives.


DayZ (computer game). The confidence, greed and sweat simulator above them all. In an impressively large Eastern European village / forest landscape, you are left to survive your opponents. You might be thinking right away about Hunger Games, or maybe even Fortnite. But it's absolutely not that casual, so stay with me.

You spend maybe 6 hours, constantly paranoid, creeping along the walls, looking through windows, and FINALLY feeling equipped well enough to hunt down the server's boss. You meet a like-minded player, who has the exact same plan and you work together during the next couple of hours, building a bond of confidence, almost a friendship, through the game's voice chat, while trying to find the boss who is online now, you can see it in the list.

From there, it can go two ways.

Option 1: find and confront the boss. If it failed, you try again another time, together.
Option 2: you’ve been catfished. The guy has always been on the boss side, and shoot you in the back while apologizing that it should have always ended like this. You keep track of when he and the boss are online, and hunt them down one day with a new crew, with whom you’re, once again, practicing the confidence-drop exercise.

I think DayZ captures quite well one kind of doomsday fascination, when situations like these unfold. The formation of lawless factions, as experienced in The Road and DayZ, is insanely scary and nerve-wracking and I can't help but want more.


Lecture about Doomsday literature at Momentum by Literature Science Associate Professor, Adam Paulsen. What will it bring?

Link to the event

Written by Rasmus Møller Madsen

Opvokset i jysk skovidyl, selvforsynerdrømme, kærlighed, geder og koloenorme køkkenhaver. Senere forsigtigt trådt ind i civilisationen, oplevet komplekse sociale sam...

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