Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tonight is the night, when two become one.

"With another painfully swift and reducing intuition it realized it was not just an I, but a male I."

This quotation comes from a passage on page 4 of Mantissa. I talked about it a little bit in my presentation, so sorry if this is repetitive, but I feel like there is so much that can be said about this one sentance. First of all what we went over in class, that this is Lacan's mirror stage and it shows the moment of Miles Green's self recognition. This awareness is a theme throughout the book because the narration is very self aware, there are constant remarks about how this is a novel and there are references to page numbers as well. This also shows a birth which could possibly be seen as a reaction to the death of the author, because now he is putting himself inside the text to assert his power.
Another key part of this sentance is the use of the word "reducing". Reducing implies the castration Lacan believes we go through when we are entering the symbollic stage he is reducing any sense of reality he might have by confining himself as a male I, using the confines of language. Speaking of language the words "male I" can also be read as Male eye or a male gaze.

Other than that, I don't know about Mantissa. It confusses me a lot. and not in the way that "I don't get it" but i makes me confused about how I look at it or how I may feel about theory while reading it. On one hand it is written in such a playful tone that I can easily brush it aside and continue just to think however I like about theory. On the other hand it makes me question whether or not the author is really dead... something I have started to believe - or at least believe is a good tool for analyzing literature. Because now that the narrator is an author and the author is clearly the narrator, how can I seperate the two???

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Want to Have Your Abortion.

Awkward. My topic for the research paper is a psychoanalytic view of the narrator/narration in Fight Club. Yikes. And of course, this is the one type of paper mentioned in class as what NOT to do. However I think that may saving grace may be that the narrator in David Fincher's Fight Club is more than a character, he is the narration and I can focus on that and perhaps I can just re-work the thesis a little. I wanted to focus mainly on the image of the family projected on Tyler, Narrator, and the members in Project mayhem. Even though there is a total lack of the feminine in this "family" it still creates an Oedipus complex which (SPOILER ALERT although i am sure everybody has seen this movie) leads to the narrator killing the Tyler Durden- his projected father. This Oedipus complex reveals how truly emasculated these characters, and in turn male society feels. Because of this they are trying to re-write history in a patriarchal fashion.
I had a hard time deciding what to do, I couldn't think of a text- or a theory that I wanted to write about, so I looked at the sheet that McGuire gave us to choose from and saw that there was a Marxist reading of Fight Club and I thought that I would enjoy doing a paper on Fight Club and then I found a whole bunch of articles about masculinity, sexuality, patriarchal society and the Oedipus complex in Fight Club and I decided to go from there.
The articles I found are:
A Generation of Men Without History by Krister Friday
Fight Club and the Dangers of Oedipal Obsession by Paul Kennett
Private Satisfactions and Public Disorders: Fight Club, Patriarchy,and the Politics of Masculine Violence by Henry A. Giroux

Obviously I am still slightly confused/overwhelmed. So I welcome and comments or suggestions.

And I am sorry I couldn't think of a corny Fight Club joke to put in here. So I went with a picture instead.

over and out,
Ben Kelley.