This study explores the role of catastrophic narrative in the current age of ecological crises. ‘The Anthropocene,’ a neologism referring to our current geological age, makes us face the exigencies of ecological devastations around the world. News of heatwaves, tsunamis, hurricanes, micro dust and so on has become a global phenomenon. Scientific researche tells us that these disastrous ecological events have resulted mostly from the anthropocentric activities, driven by capitalism since the Industrial Revolution. In the times of the Anthropocene, therefore, everything human could be shifted: from human history to ecological history, from human agency to non-human environment, etc. So, what can this tell us about literature?
Literature can be thought of as a narrative that deals with humans, with non-humans and nature only as a background. But in the age of the Anthropocene, this conventional concept of literature should be reinvented according to the changing environment. This study suggests that catastrophic narrative, which imagines and depicts the end of the current order, has features that fit the literature in the Anthropocene. Imagining a deadly situation for the collective human race, catastrophic narrative defamiliarizes familiar settings and themes of modern, humanist, realist fictions: it concretely, as well as metaphorically, imagines the end of human beings; it puts ecological issues above human issues; it accepts the post-human conditions; and it presents conventional humanist values as estranged. By analyzing zombie narrative as a case study for these arguments, this article proposes that now is the right time to read and think seriously about the possibilities of catastrophic narrative.