Got a bit of extra time to read a misguided reflection on post-apocalyptic and post-catastrophic novels? In this week’s #longreads, we direct you to n + 1’s Chad Harbach, who, in “The End, The End, The End”, ruminates on why contemporary post-catastrophic novels are a waste of time. According to Harbach, these novelists are wasting their energy on far-flung, fantastical, and inescapably flawed visions of the future. That energy, he claims, could be far more effective when focused on current issues and problems.
I suppose this may resonate with some New Yorkers, who are too busy cleaning up our current mess to imagine a new future, but it’s short-sighted. Fiction facilitates and encourages new ways of imagining our world and exposing contemporary issues. Bleak as some of those stories may be, they help us shape our vision of what we want our future to look like.