Sunday, June 05, 2022

into the metaphysical

This list of ten "scenario spoilers" that was published in an issue of Wired in 1997 has been making the rounds my social media lately, and it is fascinating how many (all?) of these bullets are applicable to us 25 years later.

#9 "An uncontrollable plague--a modern-day influenza epidemic" is of course the one that grabs the most attention. I'm reading about the start of our pandemic in the middle part of Louise Erdrich's The Sentence and it feels so eerie reliving the fear and deficit of information in early 2020. 

Also eerie, reading this novel at 2:25 am when everyone else is asleep because there's a very insistent ghost in the book. 

I should probably go switch the load of laundry I started in the basement a while ago. 

But I've watched enough horror movies and I'm no one's fool.


Nicole Boyhouse said...


That list - I haven't seen it before. It is very eerie. I looked at the date just to double check, because, how could it be so accurate? That's very creepy.

Do you like that book? Would you recommend it? I was reading Carnival of Snackery and at the very end is discussion about early pandemic days, and it was very strange to read. It feels like a lifetime ago and yet, not far at all.

StephLove said...

I read a lot of fiction about pandemics during the pandemic, but nothing about the current one. Strange to think it's already being written.

maya said...

Hehe, Nicole; I didn't go downstairs, I survived the night!

I waited to finish The Sentence... *solid* recommendation from me. At first I wanted to say Erdrich's book that won the Pulitzer last year--The Night Watchman is more important as I learned so much about the early years of the American Indian Movement from it. But this book was amazing in a different way and full of surprise, wonder, and laughter.

StephLove, I'd love to see your pandemic reading list at some point. Is it already up on your page somewhere? Yes, it felt uncomfortable, electric... I don't know. The new Emily St. John Mandel had a few pages on the current pandemic (and lots on future ones) too. Have you read this? • Hilma Wolitzer “The Last Story in a Long Marriage”

Gillian said...

That list is something alright.

StephLove said...

Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue (1918 flu)
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (fictional strain of flu)
Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Defoe (plague)
Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks (plague)
Nemesis, Phillip Roth (polio)
The Plague, Albert Camus (plague)

That's all I can remember. I have been meaning to read Love in the Time of Cholera.

maya said...

Such an awesome list, StephLove! I haven't read the Donoghue or the Brooks. There was a passing reference to our pandemic before moving on to future pandemics in Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility.


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