Three different items have recently oriented me to the title above. ‘Nekros‘ mean ‘dead body’ in the original Greek. While not an oxymoron, the term ‘dead body,’ from the point of view of a die-hard materialist would have to seem somewhat problematic, perhaps needing to find a necessity to disavow life as any special category . Or for that matter, ‘dead’ as a special category, both being (for that hard-dead materialist) simply positions on a continuum of some sort of movement/non-movement. And while there can be forms of life, can there be forms of death? One would suppose that our straw materialist would reply that is a barrier (not even a barrier really, which after all assumes that there is something, a threshold, abyssal/abyssmal or not, on another ‘side’: there would only be here, within an imminent monad I suppose.
But nevertheless, necrological concerns abound, popular forms of death-in-living, such as vampires, and zombies, as the chiasmatic form life-in-death. In fact we would not be too remiss to say that these two forms (that is, death-in-life and life-in-death) set up the polar co-ordinates between which most of thought and culture moves. (One might also say in concordance with this that the mostly-hidden CONVERGENCE and folding of those two forms into the apocalyptic, forms another massif under modernist western archepelagos: various fundamentalisms and/or the technologial singularity seem to escape from all sides of the valley of consciousness and genealogy. leaving us to wax nostalgically about when we were alive, or, in the case of our objects and gadgets, when we were not-alive.
I just finished Lucius Shepard’s The Golden, a fabulous tale of intrigue within the vampire world … and if you’ve read any Shepard you know that the writing itself is often fabulous and with a tinge of the hysterical which only a vampire novel can provoke in its depictions of the realms of the dead. But of course hysteria is somewhat appropriate, since the term itself denotes an ecstatic wandering of desire outside of itself, a dislocation.
The other two items are a changing of the status of the object (material) in some art discourses and a recent literary review by zadie smith in the New York Review of Books on the changing (or not) nature of narrative …but next time.