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The Awakening Of The Last Man deals with the story of a man who lives in a utopian future, where all humans dwell in abundance thanks to technological progress. Despite living in this perfected world he falls into a deep depression and starts to write a diary. Slowly he discovers that his hedonistic life is deprived of meaning – something no drug or virtual reality can provide. A philosophical journey begins …
This book was written by the German writer Nikodem Skrobisz at the age of 17 and originally published as his sixth book in 2016 with the title Das Erwachen des letzten Menschen. Two years later the book was translated into English and published as The Awakening Of The Last Man. It is his first book released in English. The titles refer to Nietzschean terminology.
Nikodem Skrobisz (born Feburary, 26th 1999 in Munich, Germany) is a German writer of horror, sciencefiction, nihlistpunk and postmodern literature, often reflecting on philosophical and psychological topics in his books. Most of his novels are published under the penname Leveret Pale. He is a member of the board of the German Syndicate of young Authors (BVjA) and writes articles and nonfiction as well. He is currently studying Communication Studies and Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. His website: https://leveret-pale.de
Originally published as
Das Erwachen des letzten Menschen
Eine philosophische Novelle
Losing life is no big deal;
but to watch as the meaning of life is dissolved,
April 11, 2137
April 12, 2137
April 13, 2137
April 14, 2137
April 15, 2137
April 16, 2137
April 18, 2137
April 19 2137
April 20, 2137
The die is cast.
It is as if all of human history - all wars and works, struggles and conquests - had existed only with the aim of reaching this point. As if our ancestors had only multiplied and lived so that their family tree would either blossom or die in this last generation.
It's been a game. The winners won everything and the losers earned nothing but a gentle death. Society is finally divided, and the lower part, the useless cut off part, is gradually being disposed of. On top, in the artificial paradises, the skyline of the world, super-humans, the Übermenschen1, rule, immortal and perfect through genetic engineering and augmentations.
They are gods, enthroned on their own Olympus created of glass, silicon and concrete. Armies of robots, androids and drones serve them as slaves so that they can devote themselves entirely to pleasure, research and the arts, just as they please. Their ancestors made the right choices so they now own everything and are on top of the hierarchy.
And below - we, the last people, are suffocating in the dark alleys overshadowed by the cyclopean buildings.
Our ancestors were in the wrong place in the hierarchy of the world when the dice fell. There is nothing down here, no plant sprouts out of the concrete, we live on rations and narcotics, are served, immobilised and guarded by sex slave robots.
We know jobs and property only from our grandparents' stories. The only exciting things in our lives are the adventures of virtual reality. We vegetate. Nobody needs us. We cannot change anything, we have no responsibility. We are the cockroaches that crawl around in the basement of the world, getting bloated on leftovers until we can’t move anymore, while insecticides come out of every crack. We are dwindling year by year, slowly dying out since the Program ordered the compulsory sterilisation of all remaining Homo sapiens fifteen years ago. Humans and humanity will become extinct. The Übermenschen our ancestors have given birth to will rule the universe and shape it according to their will.
One day they will forget that we existed and they will believe to have been there from the beginning and to have created the universe.
This is absurd.
I re-read what I wrote yesterday. What was I thinking? When did I even write this? It sounds so strange and abstract. My memories of it are vague. This pathos is unusual for me. Reading my thoughts … it sounds as if I am vegetating in misery, but in reality nothing is lacking in my life - at least physically.
All the circumstances are bizarre.
I have pointlessly written into this precious notebook. It's one of those paper ones, which aren’t made anymore. And still I'm writing in here again! Even if it doesn't make any difference now, of course. I do it with a so-called ballpoint pen, also a rarity, which in appearance reminds me of the touch pens. It leaves a trace of ink, a black liquid, on the tissue called paper. It's fascinating.
It's so fascinating that I don't want to stop, even though I don't really have anything to write about.
I think I bought these utensils ten years ago in a specialised shop from the little money I had left over from my inheritance. Now I don't have any money anymore, but nowadays there is no money or business anywhere anyway.
Eight years ago the Program announced the final socialisation of our society - whatever that means. Money and private property have disappeared, even my apartment and my food belong to the state - or to the Program, after all it is the same.
Why did I buy these expensive utensils? I think I did it after reading this one book, 1984 it was named or so.
To be honest, I didn't understand the book.
It's too abstract, but I liked the idea of a diary, as the main character had one. Maybe I liked that rebellious whiff of the idea. But I've been too lazy all these years to start keeping a diary. There was nothing to report until suddenly yesterday, and again today, this strange urge to write seized me.