Publication details

The Sounds of Struggle - Territoriality in I am Legend



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper investigates Richard Matheson’s 1954 post-apocalyptic zombie/vampire novel I am Legend. First, the paper introduces the activities and actions of Robert and his adversary monsters as relational and co-dependent. Then, the article moves on to illuminate such relations as primarily concerned with construction of territories, as activities of de/re/territorialization of Robert’s house and the surrounding desolate city. The article especially emphasizes the importance of sounds and rhythms as tools of territoriality. In order to do so, the paper primarily invokes Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s philosophical concept of “refrain”, established in their seminal philosophical book A Thousand Plateaus, as well as other concepts having to do with construction of space, found especially in Henri Lefebvre’s works The Production of Space and Rhythmanalysis. Matheson’s book provokes questions about his employment of sound and rhythm, not only of the music Robert plays in his home but also the sounds and rhythms of his labor and his survival, as well as the sounds and rhythms of the surrounding monsters and their graveyard city. How does Robert construct his territory? How do the monsters labor to break it down? And what sound does the struggle make?
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