The Mutated Spirit: The Hollywood Zombie as Psychopomp

  • Author(s): Keira McKenzie
  • When: 2011-09
  • Where: Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead
  • When we were all creatures of the forest, life was very different: our food was lively, our gods were lively too, and closer. So were our deaths—very close, frequent. inexplicable and terrible. Life was, as they say, nasty, brutish and short but then our souls were eased into the twilit shades of the underworld by psychopomps. animal spirits or shamans guiding our souls to the land of the dead. For a long time things remained the way. but now the forests themselves are mostly gone, shamans as good as disappeared, and scientific thinking replaces faith. yet death still remains "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns" (Shakespeare. Hamlet. Act iii. Sc 1)—except for zombies.

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