Category Archives: Lit

The Duality of Man (303/485)

Something to ponder in light of Vandover and the Brute. Gustav Hasford’s The Short-Timers formed the basis of this film, and it’s actually a much darker comedy than Kubrick’s adaptation, Full Metal Jacket. In any case the dualism Sgt. Joker invokes lies at the heart of Frank Norris’s novel.

Nineveh (485)

The Book of Nahum, chapter 3 (New International Version)

1Woe to the city of blood,
full of lies,
full of plunder,
never without victims!
2The crack of whips,
the clatter of wheels,
galloping horses
and jolting chariots!
3Charging cavalry,
flashing swords
and glittering spears!
Many casualties,
piles of dead,
bodies without number,
people stumbling over the corpses—
4all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
alluring, the mistress of sorceries,
who enslaved nations by her prostitution
and peoples by her witchcraft.

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Who Among Us (303)

Triumph of Bonaparte.jpg

“Well, come, come now, who among us in Holy Rus doesn’t consider himself a Napoleon these days?” Porfiry suddenly asked with alarming familiarity. This time there was even something unusually distinctive in his intonation.

“Wasn’t it just some sort of future Napoleon who did in our Alyona Ivanovna with an axe last week?” Zametov blurted out from his corner.

Raskonikov was silent and stared fixedly and decisively at Porfiry. Razumikhin frowned sullenly. Even before this moment he’d begun to be aware of something unusual. He looked around in anger. There was a minute of gloomy silence. Raskolnikov turned to leave.


Think It Through (485)


Consider the premise of Dark City. A species of “Strangers” who inhabit the bodies of dead humans have created a massive laboratory somewhere in outer space to perform experiments in search of that x factor the human soul. The lab itself resembles a weird amalgam of different periods and styles, though it is most notably an extreme version of Noir. Every midnight– a meaningless distinction because there is no sun and thus the city-laboratory inhabits a permanent midnight– the Strangers busily produce a plethora of objects– personal effects, papers, keepsakes, etc.– intended to support the new memories implanted in experimental subjects such as John Murdoch. They revise the city by “Tuning”– essentially harmonizing their psychic power, which is then amplified by some unspecified machinery. As if in a fairy tale, each night spirits fiddle with the world while mortals sleep, unaware.

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