Joel Stein’s regular column in Time Magazine provides thought provoking issues through stories from the absurdity of modern life. In the latest issue of the magazine he writes about gaming as a sport. The title of his essay, which I borrowed for this post, indicates a indirect link between warcraft games and modern war on terrorism. However the assosiation one gets to the tv-series (and maybe even better:the book-series) Game of Thrones, which provides a mideaval fixed world of political structure and hierarchy written for tv by Game authors, gives me hope for the future of the epic literature.
Karl Ove Knausgaard has written and published several texts considering ideologies and historical established truths. His publishing company Pelikanen translated Peter Handke, an author who controversy due to his relation to Slobodan Milošević has been raised. And maybe more significant: Knausgaard has defended an invitation of Holocaust denier David Irving to a norwegian literature festival. Book number six of Knausgaards novel My Struggle, is to some degree about Hitler and the nazi ideology. Now that his books are translated into english he have the opportunity to stress theese themes and meet oppinionated people about the matters. In the US, where Israel is very much debated and some cities, i.e. New York, are just below Israel’s cities in number of jewish inhabitants, it would be a great opportunity to put some light on these controversial questions. I hope he will. Paul Berman, Norman Finkelstein or Brother Nathanael Kapner…, the list of relevant names is long.
Time is a flat circle, Rust Cole stated, pointing at science to understand reality, the mind and the human condition. Hart’s skepticism about the objective claims of Cole’s world view is less convincing in the series than the pseudo-nihilistic mood the show offers. Even though Cole at one point recognises and seem to dismiss some Nietzsche-rip off drivel from one of the murders, the simple anti-metaphysical logocentric interpretation of that philosopher’s texts also works within Coles and Hart’s dialogues, and the general dark gothic environment of True Detective.
The supposedly opposite view of Cole that Hart is ment to represent, thinks Hart’s world view is fundamentally unable to help people fully understand themselves. Taking the proper methods of an objective scientific or Dawkinsque understanding and thread it over the mind leaves out something essential. Due to its structural centering around the structure, pointing towards something non-metaphysical through a metaphysical element in itself, the cynical Cole’s statements fall short in the description of what it is to be a human being, i.e. religious, from a transcendental perspective, in the final scene of True Detective, when the cosmological light shines through to Cole’s souls genesis of darkness.
However she is intense and Tengo can’t grasp her apperance. This chapter of 1Q84 presents some productive husserlian images of differented representation of life through the integrated necessity of death in the signifiers.
The third chapter of Murakami’s latest novel didn’t seem very significant. The plot resembeled a pulp fiction, so I don’t have much to say about that for now. Probably it’s important anyway, so I make a mental note about it.
Aomame has arrived at a hotel where she find a man that she for superficial reasons kills. It’s probably a history here, and it will hopefully be filled out and explained later.
Chapter 4 is something else for sure. Tengo meets the girl who’s written the novel he is supposed to rewrite. They’re conversation looks like it’s derived from Husserl’s Origin of GeometryThe form, not the meaning, it’s like he wants to squeeze out an ideality of meaning in an ideality of form that Fukaeri does not appreciate. When Fukaeri talk she is flat in her voice, almost dead, with no sign of tonality.
Fukaeri, the girl who’s written the novel he is supposed to rewrite. They’re conversation when Tengo’s passionate statements about mathematics looks like it’s derived from Husserl’s Origin of Geometry. The math is something that just is there, objecti
No Such Agency
In his essay Franz Kafka or Thomas Mann marxist literary critic and historian György Lukács puts different contemporary authors of his time, such as James Joyce, Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann, up against each other to exemplify some significant differences between modernism and realism in the european epic literature of the twentieth century. In Lukács view Kafka is a nihilistic modernist whoms stories lack of meaning reveals nothing but a world of empty bureaucratics. There’s no need for supernatural ghosts in Kafka’s stories, Lukács writes: »his ghosts belong to everyday life; and, since this life itself is unreal, there is no need of supernatural ghosts«. The uniqeness of Kafka and his world impact of his idiosyncratic style, which has turned into an adjective, kafkasque, is in its representation a world of echos from the other modernists who has jumped into the abyss and write about theire experience on their way down to nothing, even: »though Kafka’s artistic method differs from that of other modernist writers, the principle of presentation is the same: the world is an allegory of transcendent Nothingness.« I think this statements could’ve been very modificated, i.e. is Metamorphosis and The Castle arguably about the transcendental being and it’s relation to the other and to God’s grace, but maybe more on that some other time. Anyway his statements will do for now.
On the other hand Lukács argues that Thomas Mann’s novels representate a world where meaning has not lost its conection to a historical realistic view where classbackground plays an important role in the characters life and developement. As an example he puts up James Joyce’s representation of time in his works against Mann’s treatment of time:
»To take the problem of time: Thomas Mann’s critical detachment is such that he is not in doubt about the subjective character of the modern experience if time. Yet he knows that this experience is typical only of a certain social class, which can best be portrayed by making use of this experience. The uncritical approach of modernist writers-and of some modern philosophers-reveals itself in their conviction that this subjective experience constitutes reality as such. That is why this treatment of time can be used by the realistic writer to characterize certain figures in his novels, although in a modernist work it may be used to describe reality itself.«
One can find similar examples from literature written up to our days too. If we read let’s say David Foster Wallace’s works we will se that his characters tries to cope with things in very skilled ways, i.e. through intelligent approches towards the psychological. Their only result is emptiness. The ghosts are not supernatural here neither, they are locked inside a complex language whith a high account of realistic detail where the subjective’s disorted view of reality constitutes reality itself. John Updike is more of a late 20th and early 21th century’s representant of the realistic approach of writing as exemplified by Thomas Mann before. When Rabit in Rabit Redux sits on the bus on his way home from work, his sense of time while reading the advertisings and billboards besides the road, is a typical example for someone from Rabit’s class. It’s a certain class of people who works during the day and in boredom on the routinely bus trip home can read advertisings or the newspaper, considering what one can afford, and then go to the movies in the evening for a high cultural movie by Stanley Kubrick without worrying that he spends money on something he doesn’t understand. One can get a glimps of the differences between Foster Wallace an Updike only by looking at these interviews blank on blank has published.
Or let’s say Karl Ove Knausgard, who has just been translated into english and published in the US. His treatment of life and death belongs to those of the modernist era. It’s like his subjective experience of death and his abstract reflections on it constitutes everybody else’s view on the same matter. At first he critizise the discourses of his contemporaries for not talking about death enough and in the right ways, but only giving it superficial coverage and representations with distance, i.e. in crime fictions and news headlines about wars and murders. It seems like Knausgard longs for a representation of the human condition as it were in the romantic era of art, where people were painted very small in a grandious landscape there threes and mountains representated the divine, the wholly other non human being, the godly reality. But this was gone with modernism, and it started with Edvard Munch, Knausgard states. He placed man in the center of his paintings, and the human inner life dominated and colored nature, there was no more place for the divine. How could this than be solved, one might ask. Knausgard’s solution seems to be that he writes about himself and his father’s death in a similar way as the one he critizises Munch for: the humans and their inner life dominates totally in the description of reality. They constitutes it. The uncritical modernist has little understanding of the class background of people who experience his surroundings in this way. For John Updike it’s not enough to look at death, i.e. in the wake of terrorism, with a white middle class american’s eyes, he writes himself into a young muslim while trying to get a grasp on what death means for someone with a totally different approach to such things as life, death, God and religion. The uncritical modernist has no sense for this, that’s way he comes into a crizis when the secular 20th century western world no longer makes sense as an allegory of transcendent Nothingness.
“The decisivestructural difference is that here we are not dealing with an abstract a priori condition on the face of life, a condition which seeks to realise itself in action and therefore provokes conflicts with the outside world which make up the story of the novel; but rather a purely interior reality which is full of content and more or less competition with reality of the outside world, leads a rich and animated life of its own and with spontaneous self-confidence, regards itself as the only true reality, the essence of the world: and the failure of every attempt to realise this equality is the subject of the work.”
György Lukács, The Theory of the Novel