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Coronavirus, from novels to the big screen: here's the person who had prophesied
the LONDON – Anyone had expected. Not a scientist. A writer, as the american Dean Koontz , with a novel published in 1981. Of course, many scholars have always warned us that sooner or later a virus would be able to scare the world. And there are few films dystopian and tell something of the genre: from the “lethal Virus” (1995) by Wolfgang Petersen, with Dustin Hoffman in the title role, in “Contagion” (2011), directed by Steven Soderbergh, with Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon.

But the prophecy of the book of Koontz is awesome because its “The eyes of darkness” takes you straight into our fears today, referring to a virus called “Wuhan-400”: just as the chinese city the epicenter of the Covid-19, the scientific name of the coronavirus. For this is now mentioned by various conspiracy theorists as proof that the coronavirus is the result of a conspiracy: orchestrated by those against whom, depends on the theoretical turn.

In reality, the similarities with the novel end up there: developed in a secret laboratory just outside of Wuhan with the intent to create the “perfect bacteriological weapon”, the virus of the novel has a mortality rate of 100 percent, which is very different from that of the coronaviruses. The coincidence of the name is sufficient, however, to those who imagine conspiracies everywhere, to argue that it is not an evil born to the case.

Compared to the book of Koontz, the author of a genre can be defined as a thriller-horror with the ingredients of history, the reality of today is more similar to that film “Contagion”, which describes a global pandemic passed from animals to humans and spread inadvertently from one end to the other of the planet. What is certain is that the novelists of all time have often heard the dark allure of epidemics, more or less apocalyptic, from “The plague” by Albert Camus in “The last men” by Margaret Atwood.

With the benefit of hindsight, even in the past, works of this type could appear prophetic, as noted by the newspaper the london Guardian, citing as a precedent the illustrious, even the the Iliad of Homer. In which, when the greeks did not show sufficient respect to one of the priests of Apollo, and the gods respond by throwing in their field arrows contagious: the disease lasts for nine days, fading only after that the achaeans make sacrifices to Apollo.

Well, seven centuries later, the plague struck the city-state of Athens, killing a quarter of the population and favoring the military defeat at the hands of her rival Sparta. The historian Thucydides had a simple explanation for the epidemic: Apollo, to whom the spartans had addressed their prayers for a victory. The truth was probably much more simple: shut up in the besieged cities and invaded by refugees, the athenians were an ideal target for the infection, compared to the spartans camped in the open air in the surrounding countryside. Conspiracy theories have a long history. But the novels can be read, whether it's homer's poems or science fiction “Wuhan-400” invented by Koontz, without the need of believing in the alleged prophecies of the narrative. That is, to fairy tales.

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Carlo Verdelli SUBSCRIBERS TO REPUBLIC © Reproduction reserved Today on The torments of the Count: “But there rialzeremo as after the bridge Morandi”, Giuseppe Sala: “Milan is the trench that must withstand. By the government making the right choices,” The crisis in the airports: passengers on the decline up to 65% off the government to The trade unions: up to 4 billion for the shock absorbers and smes The freedom hostage
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