Monday, November 07, 2011

Hamilton Morris, I Walked with a Zombie

At Harper's, an excerpt from a new book by Hamilton Morris on Haitian zombies. Morris plans to pick up where Wade Davis (author of The Serpent and the Rainbow) left off. Here is Morris having a conversation with Alex, a Haitian whom he hired as a guide:
I have hinted but not explained to Alex why I’m in Haiti. I am fully aware that what I’m doing is considered by some to be in poor taste and, perhaps worse, slightly obvious. It is approximately six hours into our meeting that I feel at liberty to broach the subject of zombification. We are eating lunch. Alex is more than happy to offer his opinions: “Many Americans think the zombie is a myth, but in Haiti it is a fact that is not questioned except when the upper class wish to impress an American. The politicians and the rich want to abandon the traditional ways, but zombies are real. They work like a slave or a maid. They work on the computers as well, making accounts.”
“What kind of accounts?” I ask.
“Eh, like spreadsheets, they make Excel.”
Another revelation comes from an interview with Max Beauvoir, the famous Vodou priest:
“Wes Craven [director of the film version of The Serpent and the Rainbow] is a filmmaker who understands the Haitian people.”
Hat tip to thebrowser.com.
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