· 02/28/2018 · Michael Schmitt
Writing in The Millions, Will Wlizlo discusses Mary Shelley's apocalyptic sci-fi novel The Last Man, in which a plague threatens to wipe out humankind. A slow-paced plague, that is. "The obliterating pandemic takes a dreadful seven years to finish us off. Can we imagine a slow apocalypse now?"
I found Shelley’s take on human extinction oddly refreshing. In The Last Man, the plague that throttles us—characterized as an "invincible monster"—exercises a wicked patience in its malice, and by extension we readers are given what feels like a rare opportunity to mourn our genuine achievements as a species before they are snatched away one by one... we are given the time and space to mourn the emotions that make us human.
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