A Post-Nuclear Fireside Chat

Welcome back! We have another intriguing interview for you to peruse today from none other than Hanke Kelber, our post-apocalyptic correspondent for Textualities ‘23; but perhaps we should let her explain in her own words…

Q: Good afternoon, and thanks for seeing us! Could you please introduce yourself and let us know where you’ve studied?

Yeah, my name is Hanke Kelber. I’m studying for an MA in Modernities here at UCC, and I also finished my BA here. I studied a joint Arts degree in English and Music.

Q: And what sparks your literary interests?

Women’s literature is naturally important to me, but at the moment, I’m in most interested in post-apocalyptic literature. Of course, the two do overlap sometimes…

Q: Such as in?

I was thinking of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. After all, post-apocalyptic doesn’t have to mean post-societal.

Q: Are you thinking of presenting on that for the conference?

No, I’m actually thinking of two Russian post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels; Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, and Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers. The former is post-nuclear, the latter post-alien contact.

Q: What element will you focus on?

Both novels have a powerful sense of place, characterising and even personifying the settings affected by catastrophic change. “The Zone” in Roadside Picnic and, well, the Metro in Metro 2033. There’s a psychological, even mystical, way in which these environments affect the survivors who tread them that you rarely see in Western post-apocalypse fiction.

Q: A wonderfully eerie topic! Shall we finish there? I’d love to hear the rest on April 6th , if we make it that long…

The sky is falling!