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The Scandinavian Zombie and the Welfare State: A Reading of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2010 (English)In: Making Sense of Pain: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives / [ed] Jane Fernandez-Goldborough, Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2010, 211-218 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Handling the Undead (2005) has a zombie theme. In this article I argue that the Swedish zombie is very much formed by —or partof— a typically Scandinavian literary context. This entails, among other things, that an implied or explicit discussion about the welfare state helps shape thenarrative. Lindqvist describes a contemporary Stockholm where thousands of dead people suddenly wake up. In the novel the zombie is used as a metaphor for and ameans to discuss the state of the welfare state. On the other hand, the zombie is also used as a way to handle pain and grief.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2010. 211-218 p.
, Probing the Boundaries
Keyword [en]
Pain, welfare state, zombies, Scandinavia, horror, gothic
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37017ISBN: 978-1-84888-36-8OAI: diva2:357410
Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-10-18 Last updated: 2011-09-27Bibliographically approved

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Gregersdotter, Katarina
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Department of language studies
General Literature Studies

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