Such post-apocalyptic imagery is all to fitting these days, as autumn turns the leaves to golden brown and the brisk, clear summer air is no more. There is a melancholic beauty to golden and yellow leaves holding onto the trees in spite of the inevitable cycle of nature. Seeing it in real time makes me understand my own mortality.
Perfectly aligning with Samhain.
Described as a long-time writer and film buff who has been writing for over fifteen years, Redblackinfinite is Alexander Kattke’s third book. He has said that it was three years in the making and describes it as “…a kind of exorcism.”
And reading it, I can understand why.
Much like T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land Kattke has constructed a post-modern, post-apocalyptic world where meaning and life blend into insignificance, evident by the use of quotes from the likes of Lucio Fulci and George Orwell as well as deliberately misattributed ones in order to demonstrate the absurdity and intellectual banality of using quotes as a philosophy. In between are suicide notes, survivors of war and rulers of the world.
The imagery, as you can guess, is striking. Take this as an example:
Streams of blood. There is a rising heat fogging up my lens. Heat from so much fresh blood. Nude children dancing among it while looking up, unaware that they are looking up at me. I have to look away and clean the lens every other minute or so and then adjust the cameras to get a wider but less defined view. The children retreat into a cave. Before I could question that I see the reason for their retreat: an approaching army on horseback. In their thousands and armed with skeletal muskets bedecked with –what looks like- an improvised armor built in a scrap yard. The horseback riders lead a gallant charge into a thick cloud tinged red by blood tide. They disappear into the ether. The blood rises ever so slightly, and I need to clean the lens again. One can assume a mass suicide but for what?
As you can read, this can be intense reading and is therefore going to appeal to a select few. However, those who it will appeal to will love the fractured narrative, the extremities on display and the sheer absoluteness of it. It drags you into its world, rubs your face in shit and then asks you what you think of your new surroundings.
Disconnected writing for a deeply disconnected world.
Alexander Kattke, 2022, Redblackinfinite. Independently published. ISBN-13: 979-88848876802