Chapter 1. Time loop in the post-apocalyptic narratives of Tolstaya and McCarthy
Tolstaya and McCarthy take up a similar approach to the idea of historical time loop, revealed after the immediate fact of the apocalypse. The very genre of apocalyptic literature sets the standards to the narrative structure: an event occurs and it further leads to the end of the world as we know it, and the survivors exist in what is left from it. However, the post-apocalyptic world of the both texts have one large idea in common: the end of the world does not lead to the beginning of the mythical after-life as foretold by the religious texts – there is no Judgement Day, nor heaven or hell; on the contrary the time goes back to the almost-beginning of civilization, degrading to the Stone Age of human development with no morality or faith, no previous knowledge of the planet and no desire for any progress. Thus, the concept of time in The Slynx and The Road is viewed as circular, or, repeating itself after each time it ends.
To take a closer look, in Tolstaya’s novel “the future appears as a post-Blast regression that reversed human evolution and reinstated Neolithic conditions: Fire is a recent acquisitions […], the modern wheel, just invented, awaits implementation; people hunt for food; and the privileged enjoy sleighs as the sole means of transportation”. The critic’s argument puts emphasis on the idea of going back to a specific historical period, to be precise, referring to the years