philosophical novel

“One must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” It’s the translation for this quote that was shown in the 5:46 minute mark.

I knew that would translate into something, knowing how bighit are, and decided to do my own research on it.

It’s come from a book called ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra.’ It’s a philosophical novel by Friedrich Nietzsche, who composed 4 parts between the years 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891.

Ironically the book that follows it is called 'Beyond Good and Evil.’

(Letting you know now that I have not seen anyone talk about this and I am not stealing anyones research.)

INTP problem

I dislike saying, “I hate small talk,” even though it’s one of the truest things I could say.
Because when I say it that way, it makes me sound like a snob, someone who looks down their nose at the regular people who don’t jump into a philosophical YA-novel conversation off the bat. 

The reason I hate small talk is because it’s terrifying. I don’t know how to reply, I don’t know how to ask the right questions. Literally anything I say or don’t say could lead to an expanse of awkward silence. Small talk is a social skill, a useful skill, that everybody but me seems to have hardwired in their brains; I’m stumbling around in the dark.

That’s why I hate small talk.

Milan Kundera on the Art of the Novel

Milan Kundera: My novels are not psychological. More precisely, they lie outside the esthetic of the novel normally termed psychological.

Christian Salmon: But aren’t all novels necessarily psychological? That is, concerned with the enigma of the psyche?

M.K.: Let me be more precise. All novels, of every age, are concerned with the enigma of the self. As soon as you create an imaginary being, a character, you are automatically confronted by the question: What is the self? How can the self be grasped? It is one of those fundamental questions on which the novel, as novel, is based. […]

C.S.: [Y]ou say in The Unbearable Lightness of Being: “The novel is not the author’s confession; it is an investigation of human life in the trap the world has become.” But what does that mean, trap?

M.K.: That life is a trap–well, that we’ve always known. We are born without having to be, locked in a body we never chose, and destined to die. On the other hand, the wideness of the world used to provide a constant possibility of escape….
          But understand me: If I locate my own work outside the so-called psychological novel, that does not mean that I wish to deprive my characters of an interior life. It means only that there are other enigmas, other questions that my novels pursue primarily. Nor does it mean that I oppose those novels fascinated by psychology. The change in the situation since Proust, in fact, makes me nostalgic. Along with Proust, an enormous beauty is moving slowly out of our reach–forever and irretrievably.

From “Conversation with Milan Kundera on the Art of the Novel,” conducted by Christian Salmon, from Salmagundi No. 73 (Winter 1987) 
(Conversation translated from the French original by Linda Asher)

Nausea (French: La Nausée) is a philosophical novel by the existentialistphilosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, published in 1938. It is Sartre’s first novel[1] and, in his opinion, one of his best works.[2]

Like many Modernist novels, La Nausée is[5] a “city-novel,” encapsulating experience within the city. It is widely assumed[6][7] that “Bouville” in the novel is a fictional portrayal of Le Havre, where Sartre was living and teaching in the 1930s as he wrote it.

Sartre described[14] the stream of consciousness technique as one method of moving the novel from the era of Newtonian Physics forward into the era of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. He saw this as crucial because he felt that “narrative technique ultimately takes us back to the metaphysics of the novelist.” He wanted his novelistic techniques to be compatible with his theories on the existential freedom of the individual as well as his phenomenological analyses of the unstable, shifting structures of consciousness.

Sartre originally titled[42] the novel Melancholia. Simone de Beauvoir referred to it as[43] his “factum on contingency.” He composed it[44] from 1932 to 1936. He had begun[26] it during his military service and continued writing at Le Havre and inBerlin.

Ethan Kleinberg reports:[45]

Sartre went to study in Berlin for the academic year 1933. While in Berlin, Sartre did not take any university courses or work with Husserl or Heidegger. Sartre’s time seems to have been spent reading Husserl and working on the second draft of Nausea.

“One can never have enough socks,“ said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Me: Well, I’m off to the coffee shop, gonna get some writing done!

My roommates: Wow, she’s been going there so often lately, she must be really dedicated to her work, I bet she’s working on a screenplay or a deep philosophical novel!

Me: (Is writing fanfiction for a Disney cartoon).

Jupiter Ascending isn't a "Good Bad Movie". It's F-ING GENIUS.

Non-Spoiler/TLDR version: Just watch Jupiter Ascending okay it’s WAY smarter than people are giving it credit for because presumably they can’t figure out how to enjoy an action movie when the Everyday Joe Who Becomes The Chosen One isn’t a white guy.

(and now, spoilers)

Okay so.  I’ve seen some great positive reviews of Jupiter Ascending which say things like “it’s trash, but it’s OUR trash,” indicating that through the feminine viewpoint the movie suddenly shines as, for once, the Action Movie genre has been tackled from a feminine perspective, while apologizing for the film’s lack of artistic merit.

Well to this I say put away your deference to the people who are panning it and let me tell you some shit.

First and foremost, Jupiter Ascending does not need to apologize, for one god damn second, for not having a novel philosophical viewpoint.  If you want THAT, what the fuck are you watching action movies for.  There. I said it.

Okay, second, it does not need to apologize for being a critique of something we’ve seen critiques of before.  SEE THE FUCK ABOVE.

Now, getting down to what, conceivably, we might be asked to take a movie to task for: does Jupiter Ascending do a good job of presenting its critique of power structures?  One review I read called it a “weak critique of capitalism” which it isn’t even about.  You can blow up a factory without it being about capitalism.  God.

And I say to this, you bet your magical werewolf angel boyfriend’s chiseled ass it does.

People in power are routinely shown as having been driven kind of crazy by being in power.  They are driven crazy in different ways depending on their underlying personality, and by a cultural backdrop which is shown to be, to an interesting degree, not rational.

This is probably one of the main things critics of the film are hanging up on, so let me say that again: The cultural backdrop of the ruling caste in JA is NOT RATIONAL.  It is deeply defective.

You might, if you weren’t paying particularly close attention, conclude that this is a really bleak assessment of the human condition, labeling us as nothing more than farm animals, but you’d be making the exact same mistake that is being made, on a massive scale, by the larger human civilization.  It’s supposed to sound dumb, because it’s being PRESENTED AS DUMB. GOD.

The big scales of time that come into play are meant to illustrate how living a long time hasn’t made everyone super-wise, but only amplified their folly into a grinding, immense-beyond-comprehension genocide of aeons.

NOW THEN.  Does the plot support a message like that?  And no fair saying we already know this.  Before watching Guardians of the Galaxy, we already KNOW that there is a beauty and a power in the victims of abuse finding kinship in their shared suffering that is worth celebrating.  Before watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, we already KNOW that institutional evil has a way of acting on the good and bad alike to create bad outcomes.

But DOES JUPITER ASCENDING PRESENT THE ARGUMENT?  And does it do so in a way that creates emotional resonance?  Again, it does.

There’s a little sly wink that tells you to look at JA through the lens of questioning culturally-acquired expectations: astrology.

In the beginning, Jupiter tells us that her astrological signs are something her family cares about but which she sees as bullshit.  And you COULD read her actually being Space Queen of Space as a refutation of her initial analysis, if you weren’t actually watching the goddamn movie.  Because at every turn, she finds the system that MADE her Space Queen of Space ridiculous, and ultimately she rejects it.  She would rather scrub fucking toilets than play by the rules that make her the Chosen One.

The astrology connection is directly, and I would argue (I will fight you) intentionally paralleled by the royals believing in reincarnation through random chance producing the same genome of someone.  That wasn’t bad writing. That was supposed to be there.  Jupiter’s status as the chosen one IS bullshit, she KNOWS it’s bullshit, and she ends the film rejecting it nearly entirely, because she recognizes that the cultural situation she’d be pulled into would blind her to important realities that she knows are there.

In a perfect world we’d obviously get a sequel(s) where she becomes a great navigator of galactic affairs and successfully begins a campaign to stop all the genocides going on by *gasp* dying of old age herself, but it’s one movie.  Judge it by that standard mmkay?

Are there plot holes? Yes. But there are plot holes in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Last Starfighter and any other geek touchstone I could name.  What matters is whether there is something clear being said, and a reason to care about it.  And believe me, there really, really is.

And one last thing: I read a review saying that Jupiter doesn’t live up to the ideal of the empowered female character because she needs to be physically saved several times.  If you go back and watch for what she does do though, it’s exactly what she (rather QUICKLY) realizes is her role in the farce that is greater human society: she learns the rules, figures out what she can and can’t say, and what the implications of her actions are, and ultimately makes a choice that, even without her Werewolf Angel Boyfriend in Laser Boots, would have SAVED HUMANITY.  GIVE THE LADY SOME CREDIT. GOD.