Are you going to read pandemic novels when all this is over

Looking for something to do this afternoon, my wife and I watched an old virus-out-of-control movie on Netflix this afternoon called “Outbreak.” While I suppose a movie about a pandemic in the making was apt for the interesting times we find ourselves in, we picked it because it was better than the other selections.

I read an article this morning about probable post-pandemic novels. One point of view was that we’re all sick of this and don’t want to relive it on the screen or in print after it’s over.

Another point of view was that a lot of people have a lot of free time right now and the daily news is certainly supplying a surge of writing prompts, so, yes, we’ll probably have a lot of fiction, real-life-stories, and political analyses to suffer through.

I think it’s going to be difficult for a fiction writer to put the pandemic in perspective if s/he writes about it “too soon,” unless (of course) the output is a political red state or blue state look at what people did wrong, could have done, etc.

Rushing into print might not be the best choice

–Malcolm

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2 thoughts on “Are you going to read pandemic novels when all this is over

  1. ‘I think it’s going to be difficult for a fiction writer to put the pandemic in perspective if s/he writes about it “too soon,” ‘ I agree with you, Malcolm. Many people – including writers – are urging us to keep a diary through this crisis. Frankly, I have enough of it all day every day to not want to do much of a plague journal, although I wonder if I shall find that a missed opportunity 5 years down the line.

    As for political post mortems – I think we shall have had enough death and woe. I am certainly not piling on to condemnations of governments (various). What is the point, currently? It is what it is. We must get through it and be nice to each other. There will certainly be hugely valuable lessons to be learned – some of them about how to cope with pandemics, more of them about how to live in harmony with the planet.

    One hopes for a little humility at that point from governments. One suspects no such thing will be forthcoming. I wonder, at that point, what people-power will be able to achieve.

    1. I’ve never had the patience to keep a diary. Might be interesting to read later, but that’s not enough of an incentive for me. I don’t want to see a tell-all book about the pandemic either; there’s already enough squabbling. Government humility? Had, probably not, though most of us would welcome it.

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