Guernica Magazine

Roy Scranton: Some New Future Will Emerge

The author and Army veteran on climate change, war, and "the radical transformation of the basic structures of our existence." The post Roy Scranton: Some New Future Will Emerge appeared first on Guernica.
Photo: Josef Samuel.

Writers have long faced the apocalypse. The Epic of Gilgamesh, written approximately four thousand years ago, imagines Earth flooded by angry gods. Flash forward a few centuries, and Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells bring us their own visions of the end of the world. In more recent years, novelists like Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Octavia Butler have carried on the tradition. Each of these writers shares the idea that the end will come quickly, sparked by an event that tumbles the pillars of civilization like dominoes. It takes little to understand why visions of sudden apocalypse—as opposed to a long, drawn-out one—are popular: a quick and dirty end to everything absolves us from having had anything to do with it. If we never saw the apocalypse coming, how could it have been our fault?

T.S. Eliot offers a different outlook. In 1925, the poet wrote in “The Hollow Men” that the world will end “not with a bang but a whimper.” It’s this idea of a slow death in which everyone is culpable that captures most accurately Roy Scranton’s thoughts on the end of civilization as we know it. The author, an Army veteran who holds a PhD in English from Princeton University, has written much about two of humanity’s biggest existential threats: climate change and war. In 2015’s , Scranton combined memoir and science writing to express what it was like to return home from war-torn Iraq only to watch the world succumb to hazards even larger than Al Qaeda: hurricanes imperiling coastal cities; economic and political conflicts giving way to riots; plagues, droughts, and famine causing suffering in every corner of the planet. Global warming, writes Scranton, is at the heart of all of this, and we have long passed the point of being able to stop it. Two years later, he authored his debut novel, , which is told through the different perspectives of American and Iraqi soldiers and civilians and throws into question what it

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Guernica Magazine

Guernica Magazine15 min lettiSociety
Lust for Science
What could gender, sex toys, rodents, and climate change possibly have in common? The post Lust for Science appeared first on Guernica.
Guernica Magazine8 min letti
Dina Nayeri: The Craft of Writing the Truth about Refugees
The writer discusses the complexity of migrants' lives in a world that demands their simplicity. The post Dina Nayeri: The Craft of Writing the Truth about Refugees appeared first on Guernica.
Guernica Magazine2 min letti
I Would Steal a Car for You
I may be sixty-two, but I wish I could steal a car for you. The post I Would Steal a Car for You appeared first on Guernica.