Man vs. Corpse

The World’s Masterpieces: Italian Painting

by Michalena Le Frere Carroll and Frances Cavanah
Grosset and Dunlap, 26 pp. (out of print)

My Struggle: Book One

by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 441 pp., $16.00 (paper)

Taipei

by Tao Lin
Vintage, 248 pp., $14.95 (paper)

Walking corpses—zombies—follow us everywhere, through novels, television, cinema. Back in the real world, ordinary citizens turn survivalist, ready to scale a mountain of corpses if it means enduring. Either way, death is what happens to everyone else. By contrast, the future in which I am dead is not a future at all. It has no reality. If it did—if I truly believed that being a corpse was not only a possible future but my only guaranteed future—I’d do all kinds of things differently. I’d get rid of my iPhone, for starters. Lead a different sort of life.

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