La aparición de varias novelas de tono post-apocalíptico en la literatura anglosajona (prodríamos poner algunos nombres también en castellano), en especial después del 11-s, le permite al blogger de The Guardian Hirsh Sawhney hablar sobre estas novelas especulativas, en especial la de Cormac McCarthy (La carretera) y Kazuo Ishiguro (Nunca me abandones).
Dice la nota: "Literary writers dabbling in the dystopian - speculative, science and post-apocalyptic fiction; forgive this layperson for treating them as one - is certainly not a new phenomenon. Although she's famous for Frankenstein, Mary Shelley authored several historical novels. Orwell is remembered for his iconic portrayal of government gone wrong in 1984, but three of his novels are works of realism. American feminist Marge Piercy bagged the Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction in 1993, as did Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh in 1997. But - dare I say it - this trend seems to have picked up momentum in the post-9/11 world. Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Hanif Kureishi have all made recent forays into the fantastic, as adumbrated in the introduction. What drives these literary authors to employ the devices of science fiction? (...) At first glance, this is precisely what Ishiguro's Booker-shortlisted Never Let Me Go does. In this brilliant, uncanny novel, Kathy, a "carer", looks back on student life in a seemingly paradisal educational institution with Ruth and Tommy, who are "donors". These characters, it turns out, are all clones who are doomed to donate their organs to "real" humans and die young. Ishiguro certainly forces readers to consider the ethics of human cloning, a topic that peppered the headlines of British papers in the 1990s. But this satire seems to have an especially urgent message about the relationship between individuals and authority. The sight of authority squirming displeases the students, so they avoid pressing their "guardians" about the truth behind their existences. Think Bush 2004. Meanwhile, the school's administrators claim they were able to provide students with the sort of life that donors at less eminent institutions never experienced, and "we were able to do that principally by sheltering you". Rumsfeld and Blair come to mind.
The students find false hope in a rumour that they can attain a "deferral" from becoming donors by proving they're in love, and here's where the book resonates with McCarthy's The Road. This Pulitzer prize-winning novel is about a father and son who fend for their lives in a burnt out world "populated by men who would eat your children in front of your eyes". They spend the entirety of the book heading south, where the climate might be more hospitable, only to reach it and find ubiquitous gloom and misery. "We're still the good guys", father and son chant, the ones who are "carrying the fire". McCarthy, like Ishiguro, elucidates the futility and necessity of hope in a world in which the only sure thing is death - the dangers and promises of the myths we swallow. Unlike their cinematic counterparts, these sci-fi literary novels aren't merely cautionary tales or prognoses of doom. These texts portray reality from a rejigged but enlightening perspective, like a cubist painting, and are truly apt for a society preoccupied with catchphrases like "War on Terror", "Clash of Civilisations" and "Illegal Alien". I wouldn't be surprised if we see more like them in the years to come.