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Re: The Sunset Limited

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  • existlist
    ... === I just watched it here: http://youtu.be/a98W-vW0sh4 The whole time I was thinking it didn t have to be either/or. Yeah, there s a huge gray zone to
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 3, 2013
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >
      > I watched this Cormac McCarthy play yesterday and was greatly impressed with its obvious existential theme: despair vs. faith. It portray the absurd awakening h. recently referred to. Through contrasting the two characters (Ble ack & White) it never directly addresses the absurd tension of living in the gray zone or offering alternatives other than faith or suicide, but it takes you right up to Camus' door without going through it. I highly recommend it.
      >
      > Mary


      ===
      I just watched it here: http://youtu.be/a98W-vW0sh4
      The whole time I was thinking it didn't have to be either/or. Yeah, there's a huge gray zone to live in. When White tasted Black's cooking and said several times that it was good, I thought, "That's enough reason to stay around...". No matter what, simple little comforts of life (creature comforts) make it worthwhile. No matter what. I guess when and if one gets to the point that the little creature comforts aren't comforting, it's time to go.

      h.
    • Mary
      Yes, I felt optimistic during both the coffee and meal. Camus might have said Black failed absurdity because he refused to take on his savior role without
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 4, 2013
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        Yes, I felt optimistic during both the coffee and meal.

        Camus might have said Black 'failed' absurdity because he refused to take on his savior role without resort to faith and that White failed because he could have rebelled and given dignity to the misery of the human condition without appeal to reason. Whichever absurd role one chooses, the futility isn't what is paramount. What's important for Camus' philosophy of the absurd is that the freedom to commit suicide is less valuable than rebellion and dignity in resistance. A freedom that surrenders is not freedom.

        The professor valued culture and civilization, decided it was in ruins, but saw no way other than suicide in order to end his disappointment; he wasn't a creator, a lover, or a conqueror, etc. Black took on the role of savior, because he couldn't rebel without destroying. His role was also defeatist and reduced to hope for Heaven.

        For me the absurd gray zone is not ambiguous or uncertain. It is futile and everything dies. What I love and enjoy is transient and neither will I feel relief or nothingness after I die. White was rushing towards what he couldn't experience. You can't experience the end or nothing, only the thought of it. Black was living for the future, a non-presence. Life is absurd but it's all we have. Roll on, ye heavy stones. Give one another a little push up the hill.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "existlist" <hermitcrab65@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I watched this Cormac McCarthy play yesterday and was greatly impressed with its obvious existential theme: despair vs. faith. It portray the absurd awakening h. recently referred to. Through contrasting the two characters (Ble ack & White) it never directly addresses the absurd tension of living in the gray zone or offering alternatives other than faith or suicide, but it takes you right up to Camus' door without going through it. I highly recommend it.
        > >
        > > Mary
        >
        >
        > ===
        > I just watched it here: http://youtu.be/a98W-vW0sh4
        > The whole time I was thinking it didn't have to be either/or. Yeah, there's a huge gray zone to live in. When White tasted Black's cooking and said several times that it was good, I thought, "That's enough reason to stay around...". No matter what, simple little comforts of life (creature comforts) make it worthwhile. No matter what. I guess when and if one gets to the point that the little creature comforts aren't comforting, it's time to go.
        >
        > h.
        >
      • existlist
        ... === Mary, Here s an Apollonian-Dionysian reading of The Sunset Limited : When contextualized with Nietzsche s The Birth of Tragedy, however, The Sunset
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 6, 2013
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          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
          >
          > Yes, I felt optimistic during both the coffee and meal.


          ===
          Mary,
          Here's an Apollonian-Dionysian reading of The Sunset Limited :

          When contextualized with Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, however, The Sunset Limited, becomes a stranger, richer text, such that we can profitably call it a "minimalist tragedy," since the play contains many elements that, on a reduced scale, correspond to Nietzsche's theory of tragedy. A brief recapitulation of the Apollonian and Dionysian will be helpful here. According to the young German philologist, Greek tragedy develops out of the tension between two artistic drives, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, whose primary artistic manifestations are, respectively, sculpture with its orientation around beautiful appearances, and music with its call to song, dance and the fullest enjoyment of the senses. In the phenomenon of Greek tragedy, produced by the interplay of these artistic drives, the tragic hero is the representative of the Apollonian state of individuation. When in the course of the drama it becomes clear that individuation is a source of suffering, the tragic hero is destroyed. This destruction is joyous, however, because it means the "Apollonian" individual returns to the original unity of all being ("das Ur-Eine"), which is the Dionysian state and its intoxicated, musical jubilation. The chorus in Greek tragedy represents the Dionysian unity, and in his or her downfall the tragic hero rejoins that unity masked as the chorus.
          http://www.scribd.com/doc/100812647/%E2%80%9CMinimalist-Tragedy%E2%80%9C-Nietzschean-Thought-in-McCarthy%E2%80%99s-The-Sunset-Limited

          ===
          Now I'm wondering about this "das Ur-Eine" and how it compares to simply 'waking up'.

          It sounds suspiciously like enlightenment in the nondual traditions.

          http://jacketmagazine.com/34/stephens-narcissus.shtml
          the perspective of "primal being" — "das Ur-Eine" — which uses the human consciousness as a mirror in which it may view its own reflection, and this perspective is free from the constraints of historical time

          h.
        • Mary
          h. Thanks for this critique. I found it also here and notice the author, William Quirk whom you ve quoted, also makes comparisons with Beckett and Kafka. Since
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 7, 2013
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            h.

            Thanks for this critique. I found it also here and notice the author, William Quirk whom you've quoted, also makes comparisons with Beckett and Kafka. Since I'm more familiar with Camus I thought of how the play's themes contrast with his absurd 'logic' . . . will read more closely once I find the time. I've dug up an old box filled with research on a project which I put aside about 10 years ago, and it's absorbing my reading time.

            http://journals.tdl.org/cormacmccarthy/index.php/cormacmccarthy/article/view/2236/1928

            Mary

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "existlist" <hermitcrab65@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Yes, I felt optimistic during both the coffee and meal.
            >
            >
            > ===
            > Mary,
            > Here's an Apollonian-Dionysian reading of The Sunset Limited :
            >
            > When contextualized with Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, however, The Sunset Limited, becomes a stranger, richer text, such that we can profitably call it a "minimalist tragedy," since the play contains many elements that, on a reduced scale, correspond to Nietzsche's theory of tragedy. A brief recapitulation of the Apollonian and Dionysian will be helpful here. According to the young German philologist, Greek tragedy develops out of the tension between two artistic drives, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, whose primary artistic manifestations are, respectively, sculpture with its orientation around beautiful appearances, and music with its call to song, dance and the fullest enjoyment of the senses. In the phenomenon of Greek tragedy, produced by the interplay of these artistic drives, the tragic hero is the representative of the Apollonian state of individuation. When in the course of the drama it becomes clear that individuation is a source of suffering, the tragic hero is destroyed. This destruction is joyous, however, because it means the "Apollonian" individual returns to the original unity of all being ("das Ur-Eine"), which is the Dionysian state and its intoxicated, musical jubilation. The chorus in Greek tragedy represents the Dionysian unity, and in his or her downfall the tragic hero rejoins that unity masked as the chorus.
            > http://www.scribd.com/doc/100812647/%E2%80%9CMinimalist-Tragedy%E2%80%9C-Nietzschean-Thought-in-McCarthy%E2%80%99s-The-Sunset-Limited
            >
            > ===
            > Now I'm wondering about this "das Ur-Eine" and how it compares to simply 'waking up'.
            >
            > It sounds suspiciously like enlightenment in the nondual traditions.
            >
            > http://jacketmagazine.com/34/stephens-narcissus.shtml
            > the perspective of "primal being" — "das Ur-Eine" — which uses the human consciousness as a mirror in which it may view its own reflection, and this perspective is free from the constraints of historical time
            >
            > h.
            >
          • existlist
            ... === Thanks for the link. I will read it carefully. h.
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 8, 2013
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              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
              >
              > h.
              >
              > Thanks for this critique. I found it also here and notice the author, William Quirk whom you've quoted, also makes comparisons with Beckett and Kafka. Since I'm more familiar with Camus I thought of how the play's themes contrast with his absurd 'logic' . . . will read more closely once I find the time. I've dug up an old box filled with research on a project which I put aside about 10 years ago, and it's absorbing my reading time.
              >
              > http://journals.tdl.org/cormacmccarthy/index.php/cormacmccarthy/article/view/2236/1928
              >
              > Mary


              ===
              Thanks for the link. I will read it carefully.

              h.
            • hermit crab
              Oh, I see now, Mary, that your link was the same text by William Quirk that I sent. I reread it anyway. Interesting stuff. Here s William Quirk:
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 8, 2013
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                Oh, I see now, Mary, that your link was the same text by William Quirk that
                I sent.
                I reread it anyway. Interesting stuff.
                Here's William Quirk: http://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/quirk.cfm
                And I see he has a special interest in neopragmatist Richard Rorty which
                spurred a quick google:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neopragmatism
                There are endless ideas to explore. I guess as long as one realizes that
                they are all just that...ideas...and not taken too seriously, all is well.
                It's just good fun.

                h.

                " <josephson45r@...> wrote


                :h


                > > Thanks for this critique. I found it also here and notice the author,
                > William Quirk whom you've quoted, also makes comparisons with Beckett and
                > Kafka. Since I'm more familiar with Camus I thought of how the play's
                > themes contrast with his absurd 'logic' . . . will read more closely once I
                > find the time. I've dug up an old box filled with research on a project
                > which I put aside about 10 years ago, and it's absorbing my reading time.
                > >
                > >
                > http://journals.tdl.org/cormacmccarthy/index.php/cormacmccarthy/article/view/2236/1928
                > >
                > > Mary
                >
                > ===
                > Thanks for the link. I will read it carefully.
                >
                > h.
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Mary
                I disagree with what you ve expressed here. There are different classes of ideas, some of which should be taken seriously. I suppose it s up to each of us to
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 9, 2013
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                  I disagree with what you've expressed here. There are different classes of ideas, some of which should be taken seriously. I suppose it's up to each of us to determine distinguish between which ones are simply fun and others which are a matter of life and death.

                  Mary

                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, hermit crab <hermitcrab65@...> wrote:

                  > There are endless ideas to explore. I guess as long as one realizes that
                  > they are all just that...ideas...and not taken too seriously, all is well.
                  > It's just good fun.
                  >
                  > h.
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