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Thursday, May 10th 2012

A Bibliophiles Reveries Interviews Isaac

A Bibliophile’s Reverie interviewed Isaac. You can read an excerpt of the interview below, but for the entire thing, CLICK HERE.

3.FF:” I don’t know if you’ve read any of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books, but the vampire perspective of her books allowed her to explore tough existential issues. The same questions remarkably emerge in your novel: What is the purpose of our life, if death means paradoxical nothingness. What makes zombie or vampire  stories the perfect type of story to effectively explore these issues? “

IM:”Zombies and vampires have some similar issues to deal with. They’re both outsiders, cut off from humanity emotionally, physically, and morally. They’re so far removed from all the things humans tell themselves make life worthwhile–love, family, work and reward, participation in society–that they’re forced to confront the fundamental questions of existence, stripped of all traditional comforts and platitudes. Zombies have a particularly hard time, as they get no consolation prizes in exchange for their isolation. No super powers, no sexy mystique or glamorous gloom to indulge in. They’re not just stripped of comforts, they’re stripped of everything, including their  memories and identity. It’s fascinating to explore the absurdities of life through the eyes of suck a bleak blank slate.”

4. FF:”Throughout the novel, there are so many interesting explorations into the mind/body problem. This has been a philosophical idea that I’ve always thought had great potential to be examined in a zombie story. Until your novel, I’m not aware of many writers who have explored this philosophical concept. What about the mind/body problem fascinates you? Do you think that there is hidden potential to our minds that science currently has not completely uncovered? “

IM:”What fascinates me about the mind is how completely mysterious it still is, despite all advancements in neuroscience. We know a lot more about how the brain works, but we can still make all kinds of wild speculations about what’s really going on in there, and no scientist can disprove them. For instance, what constitutes an identity? When I berate myself for doing something stupid, am I actually just talking to myself, or is there another distinct identity sharing my brain? Where do we draw those lines? R eats Perry’s brain and experiences his memories, and is then surprised to find that Perry is hanging out in his thoughts, having conversations with him long after his death. Is this really “Perry” he’s talking to? Or is it just a residual echo of his personality, absorbed through the brain energies that R consumed? Is there a difference? Does it even matter? Even if Perry is just a figment of R’s own imagination, does that make him any less real? Where are the borders between our identities and other people’s? How much of “you” is really you, and how much is material picked up from people around you and incorporated into “you”? This stuff fascinates me endlessly.”
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