Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Philosophy, Irony and The Undead

Friend George passes this link from Crooked Timber on the Philosophy of The Undead. I had actually been ruminating on the Undead this morning, so the coincidence screamed out for linkage.

The title of the piece, God is Undead, is unfortunately contradicted by the definition as stated, "We define 'the undead' as that class of corporeal beings who at some point were living creatures, have died, and have come back such that they are not presently 'at rest.' This would include supernatural beings such as zombies, vampires, mummies, and other reanimated corpses." The corporeality of God is a subject for another time, but in traditional Judaic and by extension Christian definitions, God is not corporeal, but Jesus, he who is risen, would qualify as Undead.

Vampires, mummies, zombies et. al. have always fascinated me and their philosophical significance has been the subject of many great novels and films, from Mary Shelley to George Romero. But it was Romero that I was thinking about this morning.

Actually my mind had wandered onto the subject of great movies that have ironic endings. The classic of course being Citizen Kane (ohhh... it was the sled), but Night of the Living Dead is way up on my list (damn, after surviving all of the Zombies, they shoot the black guy). More nominees are welcome, and perhaps we can come up with a definitive list one of these days.

Question: Is a Golem Undead? Being created out of clay and being imbued with life by its creator, it has never truly been corporeal or had a life to return from. It's a slippery slope when you start thinking about these things.

No comments:

Post a Comment